It's clear that the season is lost. It's guaranteed that we'll land the 1st pick. So why not mess around with a little mock draft just to get some ideas of what we could at least look for - who we could keep an eye out for on college football Saturdays.
Just to spice things up a little, in this mock, I'm going to assume that we trade Sam Darnold to Pittsburgh for their 2021 2nd round pick (64 overall). I think it's a foregone conclusion we'll be taking Trevor Lawrence and the Darnold era is over. I think Pittsburgh is one of a few teams who'd be willing to send a 2nd rounder for Darnold. (Obviously this whole portion is worthy of a more in-depth discussion, but let's just focus on the mock here).
Round 1 (1): Trevor Lawrence, QB, Clemson
It's only November, but we already know that this pick is locked in whether you like it or not...whether Trevor likes it or not (yes, I believe he's going pro; no, he's not pulling an Eli). Trevor has the "generational talent" label, and he rightfully deserves it. Of course, it'll still take a lot of work to build a winning team around him, but I truly believe he is capable of being the face of the franchise and the guy who's willing to accept the challenge of turning the Jets around. He won't have Adam Gase as a coach, so that's already a good start.
Round 1 (31) via SEA: Terrace Marshall Jr, WR, LSU
Good lord we need talent on offense. We miss out on Ja'Marr Chase, but Terrace Marshall is a fantastic consolation prize. All he does is score. He's an elite redzone option at 6'3, an underrated deep threat, and is proving this year he has what it takes to be an every down number 1 receiver. This pick will likely come down to either Marshall or Rashod Bateman and right now I'm giving the edge to Marshall. He and Mims would make for an exciting young duo for Lawrence to play rely on.
Round 2 (33): Kyle Pitts, TE, Florida
If Kyle Pitts makes it out of the first round, which is iffy, this should be a no-brainer. Yes, a corner or lineman would be nice here, but Pitts would take this offense to the next level. (Not to mention Herndon's drop-off suddenly makes TE a need too). Pitts has been one of the best players in college football this year. A true matchup nightmare who I think has "elite TE" potential - in the same class as Kelce/Kittle/Waller/Andrews. Add Pitts to Lawrence's list of young weapons and we may be on to something here.
Round 2 (64) via PIT: Derion Kendrick, CB, Clemson
With the pick acquired in my hypothetical Darnold trade (see above if you skipped), we address arguably our biggest need on defense. Our cornerback room is a big yikes. Desir is a mess, Austin has been shaky, Poole is likely gone, and Hall and Jackson are question marks. Insert Derion Kendrick, the next in line of great Clemson corners. Kendrick is a former wide receiver, meaning he's extremely raw, but word out of Clemson camp is he's a natural at the position, displaying a fluid transition and great ball skills. Ideally, we can grab a veteran corner in free agency, that way Kendrick isn't forced to be our CB1 on opening day. This is a high-potential pick where hopefully he keeps getting better.
Round 3 (65): Deonte Brown, OG, Alabama
Our interior o-line has been a mess. McGovern has been a disappointment and Lewis/Van Roten have been underwhelming (hopefully Clark can show flashes at the end of the year). Deonte Brown has been an absolute mauler in the run game for Bama. He plays with strength and physicality, a similar style to Mekhi Becton. Obviously, Brown is no Becton, but anyone who carries that mauler mentality is someone we need to look at. Brown can be a day 1 starter at either guard position and finally add an interior presence that we've been missing since Nick Mangold retired.
Round 3 (95) via SEA: Rashad Weaver, DE, Pittsburgh
I'm hoping that Weaver's injury history helps him drop to this spot because he shows flashes of elite pass rushing talent. Unlike most incoming rookies, Weaver already has a wide variety of pass rushing moves. He's very technically sound for a rookie which should make for a quick transition to the pros. Of course, missing the entire 2019 season due to injury is a little concerning, but for a late 3rd, this guy is worth it. Adding Weaver in with Quinnen, Franklin-Myers, Huff, and Basham makes for a young and intriguing pass rush.
Round 4 (97): Kylin Hill, RB, Mississippi State
For the second straight year, we're drafting an SEC running back in the 4th. With Bell gone and Gore likely out after this year, that leaves Perine as the lone back, meaning we need another one. Rather than going with the bellcow approach that we tried with Bell, let's try a nice dynamic duo of Perine and Hill. Hill appears to be a more physical and less explosive runner compared to Perine, but is also showing in the new Mike Leach offense that he's capable of being a receiving threat as well. A 1-2 punch of Perine and Hill may not be as flashy as some other teams, but there's room for each to make significant growth and contributions to this offense.
Round 5 (129): Shi Smith, WR, South Carolina
We didn't double down on receivers in last year's draft, which was a huge mistake. We clearly need depth at the position as I refuse to watch us send Chris Hogan and Josh Malone out there again. We already failed Darnold with a lack of weapons, we for sure are not doing that with Lawrence. Shi Smith isn't the typical big outside receiver like Mims or Marshall, rather he's a slot guy. He's extremely shifty and explosive and a threat to score anytime he touches the ball. I think I enjoyed watching his highlight tape the most out of all these guys. He can fill in as both the backup slot guy for Crowder and as a returner (basically a Berrios upgrade).
Round 5 (130) via NYG: Cole Van Lanen, OT, Wisconsin
I don't know much about Cole Van Lanen, but I do know about Wisconsin o-linemen. I'm strictly drafting based upon that brand and hoping that Van Lanen can live up to it. Whether he comes in as a tackle or kicks inside to guard, he'll add some much needed depth to our line. Hopefully he can bring some of that Wisconsin pedigree with him as we continue to rebuild the trenches and protect Lawrence.
Round 7 (223) via SEA: Tuf Borland, LB, Ohio State
This is another depth pick here. We traded away Williamson, have Mosley coming back next year, along with Cashman and maybe Hewitt. This would put Borland as the 4th inside linebacker and a likely special teams contributor. Borland is an experienced starter for Ohio State, but may get overlooked due to his size and better talent around him. But make no mistakes, this guy's a competitor and takes no plays off, something that this team tends to have a problem with at times. Maybe Borland can be the guy to make a splash play every now and then when nobody else wants to.