Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will announce on Monday whether he will enter the NFL draft or remain at Alabama following his unfortunate hip injury against Mississippi State.
For the purpose of the Serby Mock 1.0, Tagovailoa will be included, and fingers crossed, will make a full recovery in time for the 2020 NFL season.
In this first mock, which includes picks 1-11, Giants general manager Dave Gettleman continues his mission to fix the offensive line, while Jets GM Joe Douglas opts for an explosive playmaker for Sam Darnold.
Here we go:
1. Cincinnati Bengals
Joe Burrow (QB, LSU)
The Heisman Trophy winner is an excellent match with coach Zac Taylor. Plays his best in the biggest games. Accurate arm (55 touchdowns, six interceptions — he won’t remind anyone of Jameis Winston), can hurt you with his legs, good size (6-foot-3, 215 pounds), good leadership skills and smarts. Andy Dalton never could win a playoff game, and Boomer Esiason wasn’t coming back. No signs Burrow will be another David Klingler. Ascending baller.
2. Washington Redskins
Chase Young (DE, Ohio State)
Bad news for NFC East QBs Daniel Jones, Carson Wentz and Dak Prescott. A generational pass rusher to team with Montez Sweat and Ryan Kerrigan, if he returns for new coach Ron Rivera. A slightly better prospect than Myles Garrett. Can rush from outside and inside. Not as technically sound as fellow former Buckeye Nick Bosa or as good against the run, but a better pass rusher.
3. Detroit Lions
Jeffrey Okudah (CB, Ohio State)
A long shutdown corner to play opposite Darius Slay, who could be a contract holdout, is imperative, especially when you face Aaron Rodgers twice a year. Wonderful athlete. A man-to-man cover-corner nightmare for wide receivers. “Needs to smooth out the rough edges of his ball skills plus become a more secure tackler,” Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline says.
4. New York Giants
Andrew Thomas (OT, Georgia)
Gettleman has never traded down in the first round of the NFL draft. But the Dolphins, Chargers and possibly the Panthers are all in the franchise-quarterback market, and adding draft capital tempts Gettleman. The calls are coming in fast and furious on Gettleman’s spanking new iPhone 11. He answers Dolphins GM Chris Grier first and tells him: “You’re calling ***** me. ***** That means I have the leverage.” He puts Grier on hold while he makes FaceTime return calls to Chargers GM Tom Telasco and Panthers GM Marty Hurney. Gettleman checks his new Apple Watch Series 5 and sees that he has just three minutes left after several frustrating minutes spent attempting to delete a TikTok video on his iPhone, and ultimately hands in the card for his left tackle of the future — an athletic 6-foot-5, 320-pound Hog Mollie to protect Daniel Jones … especially since someone will have to block Young. Gettleman, who has driven the New York media bonkers with three press conferences every week since the Super Bowl, is asked by The Post’s Paul Schwartz why he opted for Thomas. “The analytics, kid,” Gettleman says. Will become a better run blocker as he matures physically. Nate Solder can now move to the right side.
5. Miami Dolphins
Justin Herbert (QB, Oregon)
The first of three first-round picks has prototypical size (6-6, 237) and a better health history than Tagovailoa. Has the arm strength to throw on the move and the foot speed to get outside the pocket. Not a vocal leader. “Personality-wise, he reminds me of [Marcus] Mariota,” Pauline says. Left you wanting more this season. Miami coach Brian Flores knows he can’t place his future in the hands of Ryan Fitzpatrick or Josh Rosen.
6. Los Angeles Chargers
Tua Tagovailoa (QB, Alabama)
It wouldn’t be the worst thing for Philip Rivers to return for one more season and mentor the dynamic southpaw. If Tua says goodbye to Nick Saban, can he rehab his way into a top-10 pick? Smart with very good ball placement and can use his legs to pick up yards. But given his durability issues, he’ll better off not tempting the fates.
7. Carolina Panthers
Derrick Brown (DT, Auburn)
A massive run-stuffing presence, with Gerald McCoy and Vernon Butler hitting free agency. But quarterback can’t be ruled out — with Cam Newton’s health and future uncertain, and owner David Tepper hiring a new head coach. But an intense 6-5, 318-pounder alongside Kawann Short would be welcomed by the next head coach.
8. Arizona Cardinals
CeeDee Lamb (WR, Oklahoma)
Coach Kliff Kingsbury can’t afford to have Kyler Murray running for his life any longer, so a tackle is in play, but when you need a new No. 1 wide receiver in the post-Larry Fitzgerald Era, might as well get your chosen one his college teammate. A sturdy YAC monster who breaks tackles.
Isaiah Simmons (LB, Clemson)
A 6-4, 220-pound athletic specimen who can be a bigger Shaq Thompson. Played safety as a redshirt freshman. An explosive hitter who can chew up ground like Secretariat. Some could see him as a safety.
10. Cleveland Browns
Tristan Wirfs (OT, Iowa)
Baker Mayfield will keep struggling to target Odell Beckham Jr. unless the next head coach gets him a bodyguard. A powerful and explosive 6-5, 315-pounder with a nasty attitude. Played on the right side but may be able to transition to left tackle with his footwork and lateral agility.
11. New York Jets
Jerry Jeudy (WR, Alabama)
With WR Robby Anderson testing the free-agent waters, Douglas recognizes the need for a No. 1 wideout for Sam Darnold. “He has Marquise Brown-type of speed,” Pauline says, “but I think he’s a better receiver.”