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TomahawkNation Mock NFL Draft: NFC edition

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A defensive end, linebacker, and a cornerback all walk into a bar...

NFL: Cleveland Browns-2021 NFL Draft Press Conference Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The following is the NFC version of our Tomahawk Nation mock draft series. Please be sure to vote on each division for the team that you feel had the best draft.

Below each division is a short synopsis of picks.

NFC East

The Dallas Cowboys decided to move up in the 1st round from pick 17 to pick 12, swapping with the Las Vegas Raiders, so they could get their man in this draft: K’Lavon Chaisson. The ’Boys desperately need an edge presence to rush the passer opposite Demarcus Lawrence. The Cowboys swapped pick #17 and their third round selection pick #82 for pick #12. Getting Antoine Winfield Jr in the 2nd round was key for a team that lost its top utility player on defense in Byron Jones.

The “New York Football Giants” weren’t able to pull off any draft-day trades, but got better at positions of need. Isaiah Simmons is a weapon on defense, while Austin Jackson is a 1st round OT who slipped into the 2nd. Both players immediately upgrade the roster and should be day-one starters for a team desperate for talent.

The Philadelphia Eagles needed a WR, but ultimately took Jason Kelce’s successor: Cesar Ruiz. The Green Bay Packers offered their 2nd and 3rd round selections to move up in the 2nd round, so the Eagles quickly accepted when no playmakers remained on the board. Getting Chris Claypool at the back end of round 2 was a steal, as he provides a dynamic threat on the outside for Carson Wentz. After that, the Eagles focused on defensive back to fill out their secondary: Stanford Samuels III offers versatility for Philadelphia and could push newly signed Will Parks for a starting role.

The Washington Redskins couldn’t pass up the best player in the draft: defensive end Chase Young has a 99 grade (out of 100), and he’ll be a force in the NFL. Pairing Young with the DL talent in Washington means headaches for Saquon Barkley, Miles Sanders, and Ezekiel Elliott. The ’Skins didn’t possess a 2nd round pick, but got TE help in the 3rd round in Adam Trautman.

Poll

Who won the NFC East?

This poll is closed

  • 14%
    Dallas Cowboys
    (12 votes)
  • 30%
    New York Giants
    (25 votes)
  • 33%
    Philadelphia Eagles
    (27 votes)
  • 20%
    Washington Redskins
    (17 votes)
81 votes total Vote Now

NFC North

It was a ho hum draft for the Chicago Bears. You get a tight end (Cole Kmet) who brings potential starter value, and a wide receiver (Jalen Reagor) who can take the top off in the 2nd round. Potential rotational players for your roster is never a bad thing with so few picks.

Detroit Lions took two massive steps in upgrading their defense in selecting lockdown CB Jeffrey Okudah and trading a 2nd and 3rd for stud DE Yannick Ngakoue from Jacksonville. Ngakoue will immediately improve one of the league’s worst pass-rushing units and Okudah is an instant starter with excellent instincts and intelligence, and the Lions will count on both to provide leadership. The Lions also selected interior OL Tyler Biadasz who’ll be in the rotation immediately. Detriot is thrilled with its draft day moves!

Clearly the Green Bay Packers’ leadership felt they were lacking in playmakers. Denzel Sims is a boom or bust WR prospect who could be an all-pro, or out of the league after a few years. Getting Sims late in the 1st round is a good place for such a prospect. K.J. Hamler is arguably the most explosive a player in the draft and swapping picks with the Eagles to snag him is a win.

The Minnesota Vikings continue to strengthen the heart and soul of their team which is the defense. Kristian Fulton and Yetur Gross-Matos both should play early and bring experience to that side of the ball. Fulton should fill in for the recently released Xavier Rhodes. Vikings brass turned their attention to building OL depth in the 2nd and 3rd rounds before rounding out their day with WR Van Jefferson. Jefferson was a productive player at Florida, but can he replace Stefon Diggs?

Poll

Who won the NFC North?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    Chicago Bears
    (4 votes)
  • 28%
    Detroit Lions
    (26 votes)
  • 18%
    Green Bay Packers
    (17 votes)
  • 48%
    Minnesota Vikings
    (44 votes)
91 votes total Vote Now

NFC South

The Atlanta Falcons get a Nick Saban-coached defensive back (Trevon Diggs) and edge pass-rusher (Terrell Lewis). That’s not a bad thing for a team needing discipline and playmakers. Matt Hennessy was the Falcons 3rd round selection and should provide depth at center and guard on the offensive line.

With new leadership in Carolina, it was easy to spot a trend. Matt Rhule wants to rebuild a porous defense. Playing in the AFC South, you face Matt Ryan, Drew Brees, and Tom Brady, so defense is always a priority. Derrick Brown might be the most disruptive player in the draft. In rounds 2 and 3, the Panthers got solid depth to build their roster with.

Did the New Orleans Saints draft the heir apparent to Brees? It appears that way when they took Justin Herbert at 24. We’re as surprised as anyone that he made it that far, since it seemed like a no-brainer with a team in need of a long-term plan at QB.

For the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, it’s simply win-now mode. We have to get better on Brady’s blind-side, and feel we got the best OT in the draft. Trading up for Tristan Wirfs at 6 was well worth losing our 2nd rounder. Neville Gallimore dropped to us in the 3rd round, adding some interior DL depth, while Zack Moss will be an electric addition to a thin backfield. And only having to trade Cameron Brate to get him late in the 3rd—woof what a day for the Bucs. Brett Nevitt>Jason Licht.

*editor’s note: Brett may have written his own entry.

Poll

Who won the NFC South?

This poll is closed

  • 15%
    Atlanta Falcons
    (14 votes)
  • 17%
    Carolina Panthers
    (16 votes)
  • 23%
    New Orleans Saints
    (21 votes)
  • 42%
    Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    (38 votes)
89 votes total Vote Now

NFC West

The Arizona Cardinals get perhaps the best offensive tackle prospect (Jedrick Wills Jr) to protect their franchise QB (Kyler Murray). Oh, and they were able to move some picks to get a WR you might recognize: DeAndre Hopkins.

The Los Angeles Rams released Todd Gurley, but arguably snatched the steal of the draft late in the 2nd round in D’Andre Swift. Swift is a day-one running back, who for unknown reasons fell that far. Devin Duvernay has some potential as a slot WR along with Kenny Bowden. Jonathan Greenard could be a situational pass rusher down the road.

All the San Francisco 49ers did was draft the fastest player in Henry Ruggs III. Ruggs was a highly-coveted prospect who will blow the top off defenses. Kyle Shanahan gets another weapon for his offense. Picking up two 3rd round selections in a trade with the Raiders, the 49ers nabbed versatile interior lineman Jonah Jackson and underrated safety prospect Ashtyn Davis.

Pete Carroll loves undersized edge-rushers and that’s what he got in Zack Baun. Baun recently had a sample flagged at the NFL Combine, but the Seahawks thought he was worth the risk at 27. Michael Pittman is an intriguing WR prospect who could fit in the rotation.

Poll

Who won the NFC West?

This poll is closed

  • 16%
    Arizona Cardinals
    (12 votes)
  • 31%
    Los Angeles Rams
    (23 votes)
  • 30%
    San Francisco 49ers
    (22 votes)
  • 21%
    Seattle Seahawks
    (16 votes)
73 votes total Vote Now