James Fragoza’s 2025 NFL Mock Draft: Browns Replace Deshaun Watson With Shedeur Sanders, Panthers Go Defense at No. 1

    The 2024 NFL Draft is only a couple of weeks old, but scouts are already looking forward. Who goes off the board first in this 2025 NFL Mock Draft?

    Not all players selected in the 2024 NFL Draft have gone through rookie minicamps yet, but it’s already time to turn the calendar to 2025. While predictions 11 months out are futile, way-too-early 2025 NFL mock drafts offer preliminary evaluations of the top prospects entering the 2024 college football season.

    The draft order is based on reverse Super Bowl odds in the updated PFN Mock Draft Simulator.

    2025 NFL Mock Draft

    1) Carolina Panthers: Abdul Carter, EDGE, Penn State

    Abdul Carter has yet to reach his potential, as Penn State has used him as a linebacker for the last two seasons. But, to the detriment of every QB he’ll face, Carter is moving to a full-time EDGE role in 2024.

    The transition should be natural for the athletic pass-rushing demon.

    2) Tennessee Titans: Luther Burden III, WR, Missouri

    The Titans have a diabolical receiving corps in 2023 … at least on paper.

    A few years ago, having DeAndre Hopkins, Calvin Ridley, and Tyler Boyd on the same team would’ve been cause for intervention from Roger Goodell a la David Stern. However, in 2024, the trio of 29-years-or-older pass catchers has a limited window of elite productivity.

    As a result, the Titans nab the top offensive prospect in the 2025 NFL Draft: Luther Burden III. The Missouri WR can win before the catch, at the catch point, and after the catch.

    A true three-level threat, Burden can be Will Levis’ WR1 for the next decade.

    3) New England Patriots: Deone Walker, DT, Kentucky

    Defensive tackles who are 6’6″ and 350 pounds should not move the way Deone Walker does. His get-off and light feet are uncanny and allow him to win as a pass rusher outside of simply bullying linemen into the QB’s lap.

    Not-so-hot take: Walker is who analysts expected current Philadelphia Eagles DT Jordan Davis to be.

    4) Denver Broncos: Will Johnson, CB, Michigan

    Will Johnson could’ve played in the NFL as a true sophomore last season. He has the size (6’2″, 200 pounds), length, and athleticism of a CB1.

    Now imagine him as the CB2 across from Pat Surtain II: No Fly Zone 2.0.

    5) Las Vegas Raiders: Tetairoa McMillan, WR, Arizona

    At 6’5″ and 200 pounds, Tetairoa McMillan is a contested-catch fiend, but he can also stretch the field and pick up YAC. But perhaps more enticing are his strong hands and ability to separate at the stem better than most WRs that tall.

    6) New York Giants: Mason Graham, DT, Michigan

    Were it not for Walker’s freakishness, Mason Graham would be the DT1 in the class. He consistently wins as a run defender and pass rusher and has few holes in his game.

    Michigan likes to rotate its DTs frequently (and the Wolverines have the depth to do so without significant drop-off). But when on the field, offenses feel Graham’s impact.

    7) Arizona Cardinals: Harold Perkins Jr., LB, LSU

    The Tigers misused Harold Perkins Jr. last season, but it appears they’ll do right by his skill set in 2024. He has the speed and bend to ghost OTs off the edge, but his size (6’1″, 220) can’t stay on the defensive line full-time.

    Thus, utilizing Perkins’ range as a defensive chess piece is paramount, and he’ll improve his read-and-react skills against the run with more reps from the second level.

    8) Washington Commanders: Benjamin Morrison, CB, Notre Dame

    Benjamin Morrison is a technician at corner, making up for a lack of elite physical traits. His feet are always moving, and he stays patient at the line and when backpedaling, only flipping his hips when necessary.

    Morrison’s nine career INTs highlight his ball skills, and his stinginess in man coverage allows defensive coordinators to get creative with the rest of the secondary.

    9) New Orleans Saints: James Pearce Jr., EDGE, Tennessee

    Cameron Jordan is in the twilight of his career. Marcus Davenport didn’t pan out. And Chase Young is already on his third NFL team as a one-time No. 2 overall pick. The Saints need their next dominant EDGE, and the answer is James Pearce Jr.

    Pearce may not last this long in the actual 2025 NFL Draft, but if he does, the card would be turned in quicker than he generates pressure — and that’s quick.

    He largely won off his athleticism in 2023, so if Pearce adds to his pass-rush bag, QBs will be very acquainted with the turf.

    10) Minnesota Vikings: Walter Nolen, DT, Ole Miss

    Right now, Walter Nolen is not worthy of a top-10 selection. Yet, if he can harness the physical gifts that made him a five-star recruit, he could enjoy a standout season at Ole Miss and parlay it into a first-round pick.

    Nolen’s burst and strength make slicing through gaps and pushing the pocket a breeze.

    11) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Carson Beck, QB, Georgia

    If the Buccaneers are drafting in the top 15, Baker Mayfield likely reverted to the player we knew him to be before a resurgence last season.

    Is Carson Beck a surefire prospect? No, and the NFL told us what they thought of the 2025 QB class when six teams selected a signal-caller in the first 12 picks in 2024.

    Regardless, Beck has the poise, anticipation, and layering ability that will catch the eye of QB-needy teams.

    12) Seattle Seahawks: Will Campbell, OT, LSU

    Charles Cross and Abraham Lucas endured sophomore slumps after promising rookie campaigns, and it’s possible one — or both — doesn’t rebound in 2024, necessitating the addition of a blue-chip prospect at the position.

    Will Campbell plays high in his stance and doesn’t have suffocating length, but it doesn’t matter due to his mirroring ability and immovable anchor.

    13) Indianapolis Colts: Travis Hunter, CB, Colorado

    Can Travis Hunter be a good NFL WR? Yes, but he can be a great NFL CB. His smooth athleticism and body control make him a premier playmaker in the secondary, and his rare instincts and positioning plummet QB passer ratings.

    14) Pittsburgh Steelers: Emeka Egbuka, WR, Ohio State

    Emeka Egbuka may leave Ohio State as a first-rounder without ever having been the top pass catcher on the team. He’s played behind Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Garrett Wilson, Chris Olave, and Marvin Harrison Jr., and now freshman phenom Jeremiah Smith is stealing the spotlight.

    Yet, Egbuka is a stellar WR in his own right and will be able to put his talents on full display in 2024.

    15) Jacksonville Jaguars: Earnest Greene III, OT, Georgia

    Challenging for the OT1 spot in the 2025 NFL Draft is Georgia’s Earnest Greene III. Trailing past first-round Bulldogs in Broderick Jones and Amarius Mims, Greene has the length, raw power, and mauler mentality to earn similar draft capital.

    The 2023 season was Greene’s first as a starter, so further refinement should be expected in Year 2.

    16) Cleveland Browns: Shedeur Sanders, QB, Colorado

    Off-field antics aside, Shedeur Sanders has the skill set to earn Round 1 consideration. When kept clean, he can surgically disassemble defenses, and he also has the athleticism to make plays outside the pocket.

    Add in the easy arm talent and touch, and the Browns have their new QB1.

    17) Los Angeles Rams: Kelvin Banks Jr., OT, Texas

    Kelvin Banks Jr. isn’t as far along as a technician as Campbell, but he is a plus athlete with the brute force to put defenders on their backs. His explosiveness out of his stance and overall balance will have him atop some teams’ boards.

    18) Los Angeles Chargers: Princely Umanmielen, EDGE, Ole Miss

    Princely Umanmielen’s divorce from Florida wasn’t pretty, but by all accounts, it appears he is in a better position at Ole Miss.

    Umanmielen’s combination of burst, bend, and length torture OTs around the arc, and when his motor is running hot, he can also set the tone against the run.

    19) Chicago Bears: Kenneth Grant, DT, Michigan

    Kenneth Grant is a grizzly bear rushing the passer and has shades of Texas’ T’Vondre Sweat. He won’t win at an elite rate, but when he does, QBs feel it.

    Grant’s sheer size (6’3″, 340) and knockback power also allow him to plug multiple gaps against the run, and he fits right at home at nose tackle.

    20) Atlanta Falcons: Evan Stewart, WR, Oregon

    Drake London, Darnell Mooney, and Rondale Moore form an impressive WR corps at their ceilings, but Mooney and Moore may fail to live up to expectations in Atlanta.

    Evan Stewart would form a reliable duo for Kirk Cousins and Michael Penix Jr., with London operating as the big-bodied weapon and Stewart creating separation in the intermediate and deep parts of the field.

    21) Miami Dolphins: Jonah Savaiinaea, OT, Arizona

    The Dolphins will likely need to address the offensive line again in 2025, and the 6’6″, 330-pound Jonah Savaiinaea would allow the best five to start. Even if Terron Armstead returns, 2024 second-rounder Patrick Paul and current RT Austin Jackson can kick inside to guard, with RG Robert Jones moving to center.

    22) Green Bay Packers: Denzel Burke, CB, Ohio State

    Denzel Burke burst onto the scene with a one-INT, 12-PBU true freshman campaign. He struggled with consistency as a sophomore but bounced back last year. The long, explosive CB broke up eight passes and intercepted another and is a tenacious support defender against the run.

    23) New York Jets: Colston Loveland, TE, Michigan

    Colston Loveland’s numbers will likely drop with J.J. McCarthy off to the NFL, but he has put enough on film to warrant a Round 1 pick.

    Loveland is a height/weight/speed threat as a receiver, often lining up in the slot and taking advantage of smaller slot defenders and slower linebackers.

    24) Houston Texans: Barrett Carter, LB, Clemson

    Barrett Carter is the epitome of a modern linebacker with the size, speed, and power to fly all over the field. Blitz him off the edge, send him to cover from the slot, or have him fill gaps in the run game from the box — he can do it all.

    Last year was Carter’s first playing full-time at the second level, and there were certainly some growing pains, but 2024 should highlight his strengths.

    25) Dallas Cowboys: Ollie Gordon II, RB, Oklahoma State

    The 2023 Doak Walker Award winner, Ollie Gordon II generated over 2,000 yards of total offense (1,732 rushing and 330 receiving). His eye-popping flexibility, contact balance, and vision gain every inch physically possible on every carry.

    26) Philadelphia Eagles: Malaki Starks, S, Georgia

    Since 2022, Malaki Starks has registered five INTs and 14 PBUs, highlighting his playmaking ability in coverage. But he’s also one of the best tacklers in the nation and revels in crashing the line of scrimmage and forcing negative plays for the offense.

    Put Starks in the slot, box, or deep safety, and place your other defensive pieces where you like.

    27) Cincinnati Bengals: Nic Scourton, EDGE, Texas A&M

    Nic Scourton possesses a nauseating spin move and overwhelming power when he gains steam. He is only 19 years old and is already coming off a 10-sack, 15-TFL campaign.

    Now in the SEC, after transferring from Purdue, Scourton will exhibit his skill set to a national audience.

    28) Buffalo Bills: Tacario Davis, CB, Arizona

    Not only is Tacario Davis a towering corner at 6’4″, but he has the movement skills to match WRs downfield. He racked up 16 pass deflections last season, using his length to completely envelop WRs.

    Line Davis up in press man and watch him lock down his side of the field.

    29) Detroit Lions: Dani Dennis-Sutton, EDGE, Penn State

    Dani Dennis-Sutton saw both Chop Robinson and Adisa Isaac go in the top 100 of the 2024 NFL Draft, and he’s up next. Even rotating behind two future professionals, DDS generated 3.5 sacks, six total tackles for loss, and consistent pressure at 6’5″ and 270 pounds.

    Now in a full-time role, it wouldn’t be surprising if Dennis-Sutton tripled his production off the edge due to his bend, raw power, and explosiveness.

    30) Baltimore Ravens: Isaiah Bond, WR, Texas

    Xavier Worthy and AD Mitchell are gone, but Isaiah Bond could be even better than either pass catcher. He isn’t as big as Mitchell or as fast as Worthy, but his explosiveness and start/stop ability at the stem set him apart.

    Separation is the trait to look for when scouting WRs, and Bond has it in spades.

    31) San Francisco 49ers: Emery Jones Jr., OT, LSU

    The other LSU OT who could hear his name called in Round 1 of the 2025 NFL Draft, Emery Jones Jr. has started since his true freshman season in 2022.

    With Garrett Nussmeier taking over for Jayden Daniels under center, Jones’ job could be easier as Daniels scrambled away from clean pockets and turned pressures into sacks at a high rate.

    32) Kansas City Chiefs: Andrew Mukuba, S, Texas

    Andrew Mukuba has all the genetic gifts one could want in a modern-day DB. Consistency wasn’t an adjective for his game while at Clemson, but perhaps a change of scenery is all he needed.

    Mukuba’s man-coverage ability and freedom of movement in the secondary encourages versatile deployment.

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