NFL Draft

Bears address key roster need in way-too-early 2025 mock draft

In this “way-too-early-mock-draft,” the selection pendulum swings in the direction of the defense next year. There may be as many as 10 edge rushers taken in the first round of the 2025 Draft, which could be an NFL record

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The 2024 NFL Draft will be remembered for producing 14 consecutive offensive selections, starting with the Chicago Bears taking quarterback Caleb Williams as the first overall pick. Amazingly, the first defensive prospect chosen was the player with the most injury-laden scrutiny in the draft, edge rusher Laiatu Latu.

Another memorable moment was the Falcons’ head-scratching selection of quarterback Michael Penix Jr., even though Atlanta signed veteran signal-caller Kirk Cousins to a four-year 180 million dollar deal.

In this “way-too-early-mock-draft,” the selection pendulum swings in the direction of the defense next year. There may be as many as 10 edge rushers taken in the first round of the 2025 Draft, which could be an NFL record.

Using’s rankings, we’ve managed to “expertly” nail down every single pick for next year (wink-wink). Our weekly mocks return with the start of the 2024 season. Enjoy.

1. Carolina Panthers: Edge - James Pearce Jr., Tennessee

Pearce is a long-limbed rangy athlete who plays extremely well utilizing leverage, speed and agility to create disruption along the line of scrimmage. He’s already an experienced defender with 26 collegiate games played, and is expected to improve and challenge for several postseason defensive awards.

2. New England Patriots: OT - Will Campbell, LSU

Campbell possesses a prototypical physique most NFL teams covet, standing a full six-foot-six, 325 pounds with an impressive 80-inch wingspan. An incredibly talented perimeter blocker, Campbell became the first true freshman to start a season-opener for the Tigers during the 2022 campaign.

3. Denver Broncos: DB/WR - Travis Hunter, Colorado

Hunter is an elite athlete whose two-way exploits make him the premiere prospect for the incoming 2025 draft class. An explosive talent, Hunter’s exceptional anticipation, paired with his uncommon athleticism, makes him an intriguing chess piece for NFL coordinators.

4. Washington Commanders: OT - Kelvin Banks Jr., Texas

Banks is a patient pass blocker that uses good lateral agility and accurate hand placement to ward off pass rushers. An improved run blocker, Banks plays with controlled aggression fueled by an uncompromising mean streak that pounds defenders into the turf.

5. Tennessee Titans: WR - Luther Burden III, Missouri

Burden employs excellent hand-eye coordination and an electric running style after the catch that separates him from his peers. A twitchy athlete with exceptional body control, Burden is virtually unguardable from the slot position and is skilled at beating press coverage when aligned outside the numbers.

6. New York Giants: QB - Carson Beck, Georgia

Beck continues to improve the more he plays and shows promise as a potential franchise quarterback. Last season, Beck threw for 3,941 yards and 26 scores while completing 72.4 percent of his passes.

7. Las Vegas Raiders: QB - Shedeur Sanders, Colorado

Sanders’ ability to reset his feet and consistently deliver accurate passes with NFL-caliber accuracy is impressive. The son of a coach and NFL Hall-of-Famer (Deion Sanders), Sanders is arguably the most pro-ready athlete on and off the field from this draft class.

8. Arizona Cardinals: Edge - J.T. Tuimoloau, Ohio State

Tuimoloau is a multifaceted defender whose awareness matches his next-level athleticism. Despite his six-foot-four, 270-pound frame, Tuimoloau is unusually nimble for his size, displaying above-average agility while dropping into coverage zones. He is a unique athlete with the ability to line up on the defensive front or play in the second level as a linebacker.

9. Minnesota Vikings: DT - Mason Graham, Michigan

Graham’s ability to stack and shed blockers while making run-stuffing tackles from the defensive interior is noteworthy. A high-motor athlete, Graham plays with balance and an unyielding determination to win on every down.

10. New Orleans Saints: QB - Quinn Ewers, Texas

Ewers possesses enough NFL-caliber talent to be the first overall pick or just another first-round prospect taken because he's a quarterback with potential. If Ewers can build off his 2023 performance (3479 passing yards / 69 completion percentage), his live arm and tenacity could vault him into top-five draft status.

11. Seattle Seahawks: LB - Harold Perkins, LSU

Perkins may be the rare linebacker that’s chosen in the first half of a draft next year. An explosive athlete whose fluidity and change of direction ability make him difficult to block. Perkins is a precocious playmaker who dissects plays quickly and decisively with consistent results.

12. Indianapolis Colts: S - Malaki Starks, Georgia

Starks relies on his closing speed to help bait quarterbacks into making ill-advised passes in his direction. A solid six-foot-one, 205 pounds, Starks moves fluidly with quick feet to control seam routes and the middle of the field. 

13. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: CB - Will Johnson, Michigan

A big cornerback with 4.44 speed, Johnson showcases NFL coverage skills, having generated a low quarterback rating of 39.7 when passers threw in his direction. His length, strength, and speed make it annoyingly difficult for him to beat off of press coverage.

14. Pittsburgh Steelers: WR - Emeka Egbuka, Ohio State

Egbuka is a highly skilled and talented pass catcher who might have been a first-round selection in the 2024 draft had he decided not to return for another campaign. An even-tempered wideout who addresses the game with a veteran’s professionalism.

15. Los Angeles Chargers: CB - Benjamin Morrison, Notre Dame

Morrison is a solid press cover cornerback with excellent man-to-man coverage skills. He sports a sub 40-time (4.39) and utilizes his long speed to deter opposing wideouts from becoming vertical threats.

16. Jacksonville Jaguars: Edge - Nic Scourton, Purdue

Scourton is a defensive scourge on opposing offenses because of his ubiquitous playmaking skills. Last season, he registered 50 total takedowns with 15 tackles for loss and 10 sacks, plus three defended passes.

17. Cleveland Browns: WR - Tetairoa McMillian, Arizona

McMillian is a physical wideout who plays with ultimate confidence on the gridiron. He makes each contested catch a personal vendetta against any defensive back unlucky enough to guard him. A reliable pass catcher, he consistently snares passes with strong hands and keen body positioning away from defenders.

18. Los Angeles Rams: WR - Evan Stewart, Texas A&M

Stewart isn’t just another speedy wideout with limited route-running skills and inconsistent hands. He is an extremely talented receiver whose expanding skills include toe-dragging sideline awareness, execution of efficient routes, and leaping fearlessly into contested jump ball passes for dynamic receptions.

19. New York Jets: OT - Emery Jones, LSU

Quick, powerful, and athletically gifted, Jones is a coiled jackhammer of an offensive lineman. It is without question that his blocking conviction overwhelms many opponents until the whistle is mercifully blown. A massive human, Jones’ six-foot-six frame contains his 335 pounds proportionately without affecting his agility, quickness or flexibility.

20. Chicago Bears: Edge - Jack Sawyer, Ohio State

There are moments when Sawyer produces on the field in a fashion similar to the Steelers All-Pro edge rusher, T.J. Watt. Sawyer is more athletic than he appears, generating much of his success from sound tackling and adept analysis of plays before they begin.

21. Atlanta Falcons: CB - Denzel Burke, Ohio State

Burke is a sticky defender with the length, size, and speed to track and mirror receivers at all levels of the field. He routinely displays a special knack for dislodging potential receptions from receivers’ grasps.

22. Miami Dolphins: DT - Deone Walker, Kentucky

Immeasurably disruptive, Walker faces opposing double teams with annoyance and being single-blocked as an insult. Walker attacks with whirlwind-like hand combinations and violent intentions, making him a moving target and a frustrating blocking assignment for offensive linemen.

23. Green Bay Packers: CB - Tacario Davis, Arizona

Davis is a big corner (6’4”, 195 lbs) who moves lightly and noiselessly on his feet. A fundamentally sound press-cover corner with length and high-end receiving skills, he’s a talent that may ascend into the top 10 of next year’s draft.

24. Houston Texans: DL - Tyleik Williams, Ohio State

Williams steamrolls past offensive linemen with quick, active hands while hitting ball carriers like a runaway locomotive. Strong against the run, he is rounding into form as a better interior pass rusher and a complete three-technique defender.

25. Philadelphia Eagles: Edge - Princely Umanmielen, Florida

Philadelphia will have three unrestricted free-agent edge rushers at the end of the 2024 season and may target a younger, more affordable pass-rushing specialist in the upcoming draft. Umanmielen is a twitchy, athletic pass rusher with length and sinkable hips that generate a smooth change of direction when pursuing offensive playmakers.

26. Dallas Cowboys: WR - Tre Harris, Ole Miss

A big, physical receiver with soft, reliable hands, Harris is extremely difficult to bring down after the catch. His playing style and effectiveness are reminiscent of Hall-of-Fame wideout Michael Irvin (Dallas - 1988-1999), and it wouldn’t be shocking to see the Cowboys draft another receiver in the mold of their former superstar pass catcher.

27. Buffalo Bills: Edge/DE - Mykel Williams, Georgia

Williams can play with his hand in the dirt or perched over the line of scrimmage, measuring his pass rush to the quarterback. Williams is a lean six-foot-five, 265-pound defensive end whose quickness, length, and strength allow him to power through double teams while leveraging his size in unpredictable ways. 

28. Cincinnati Bengals: DL/Edge - Landon Jackson, Arkansas

Jackson is a freakishly athletic defensive edge with skills to rush the passer, stuff the run and drop 10 to 15 yards downfield into coverage lanes. His long strides quickly close the distance to retreating quarterbacks, and his elongated form grapples ball carriers from odd angles. Jackson will be a problem for offenses at the NFL level.

29. Detroit Lions: Edge - Patrick Payton, Florida State

Payton displays exciting quickness when rushing the passer or chasing down ball carriers with backside pursuit. Extremely fluid and agile, Payton is a rare talent gifted enough to cover bigger receivers and running backs step for step in man coverage. 

30. Baltimore Ravens: LB - Abdul Carter, Penn State

Another impactful NFL-caliber linebacker from “Linebacker U,” Carter is a marvelous blend of size, athleticism, speed, instincts, and power when attacking offenses. Carter is talented enough to play any linebacking position and is undoubtedly an every-down defender.

31. San Francisco 49ers: OT - Jonah Savaiinaea, Arizona

Savaiinaea uses his powerful grip to control opponents and win at the point of attack. On raw talent alone, Savaiinaea plays with balance in pass protection and consistently executes combo blocks into a defense’s second level with success.

32. Kansas City Chiefs: DT - Kenneth Gant, Michigan

Gant’s strength is exponentially dynamic within the trenches at the line of scrimmage. His ability to anchor against the run or quickly stack and shed from blockers, creating disruption on any given play, is first-round worthy.

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