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O'HARA'S MOCK DRAFT 3.0: How free agency affects selections

Mock Draft: Free Agency Effect is my third mock draft this year and by far the most challenging of any other I can recall.

Trades, free-agent signings and the impact of record-setting contracts have forced changes in projections on a daily basis -- and sometimes hourly.

One thing has remained constant. The Detroit Lions are in a good position with two first-round picks -- second and 32nd overall.

This draft has depth in areas where the Lions need help -- defensive line and wide receiver specifically --to continue the rebuild undertaken by head coach Dan Campbell and GM Brad Holmes.

Following are the first-round projections for my third mock draft. Trades are not allowed.

As always, feel free to disagree.

1. Jacksonville Jaguars, 3-14:

Status: Going heavy on OL in free agency shows the Jags are switching to defense for No. 1 pick.

Pick: Edge rusher Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan.

Mock 1-2 Picks: OT Evan Neal, Alabama.

2. Detroit Lions, 3-13-1:

Status: Hutchinson going No. 1 could open good opportunities for the Lions to trade down. Impact for defense is the priority, wherever they pick.

Pick: Safety Kyle Hamilton, Notre Dame. Size (6-4, 220), athleticism and instincts have him rated high.

Mock 1-2 Picks: Hutchinson, Hamilton.

3. Houston Texans, 4-13:

Status: Trading QB Deshaun Watson to Cleveland brings closure, adds draft capital.

Pick: OT Ikem Ekwonu, North Carolina State. Combine performance elevated him.

Mock 1-2 Picks: Hutchinson, edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon.

4. New York Jets, 4-13:

Status: Jets' two high first-round picks building blocks.

Pick: CB Ahmad "Sauce" Gardner, Cincinnati. He moved to the top of his position.

Mock 1-2 Picks: CB Derek Stingley Jr., LSU.

5. New York Giants, 4-13:

Status: Draft shuffle ahead of them doesn't change their needs. And they still get a quality player.

Pick: Edge rusher Travon Walker, Georgia.

Mock 1-2 Picks: Ekwonu.

6. Carolina Panthers, 5-12:

Status: There's been more talk than action about them dealing to fill QB need. A QB will be over drafted by Carolina because of need.

Pick: QB Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh. Closed out his career with a big 2021 season -- 42 TD passes vs. seven picks.

Mock 1-2 Picks: OT Charles Cross, Mississippi State, Pickett.

7. New York Giants, from Bears, 6-11:

Status: Two high first-round picks add solid foundational prospects.

Pick: Edge rusher Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon.

Mock 1-2 Picks: Hamilton, Thibodeaux.

8. Atlanta Falcons, 7-10:

Status: They missed on dealing for Watson, then traded QB Matt Ryan to Indy. The next guy needs protection. No mystery here.

Pick: OT Evan Neal, Alabama.

Mock 1-2 Picks: ILB Devin Lloyd, Utah.

9. Seattle Seahawks, from Broncos, 7-10:

Status: Trading QB Russell Wilson to Broncos gives Seahawks draft picks to beef up roster. Should start with defense.

Pick: DT Jordan Davis, Georgia.

Mock 1-2 Picks: No first-round pick.

10. New York Jets, from Seahawks, 7-10:

Status: A second first-round defender wins out over WR with defensive-minded head coach Robert Saleh.

Pick: Edge rusher Jermaine Johnson III, Florida State.

Mock Picks 1-2: WR Treylon Burks, Arkansas.

11. Washington Commanders, 7-10:

Status: Trade with Colts for QB Carson Wentz changed draft focus.

Pick: WR Garrett Wilson, Ohio State.

Mock 1-2 Picks: QB Matt Corral, Ole Miss.

12. Minnesota Vikings, 8-9:

Status: Vikings have drafted five defensive backs in the first two rounds in the last five drafts. Make it six for six.

Pick: CB Derek Stingley Jr., LSU.

Mock 1-2 Picks: Gardner.

13. Houston Texans, from Browns, 8-9:

Status: The Browns were focused on a WR. It's a good pick for the Texans, too.

Pick: WR Drake London, Southern Cal.

Mock 1-2 Picks: No picks.

14. Baltimore Ravens, 8-9:

Status: Adding strength up front is needed to play their style of football.

Pick: OT Trevor Penning, Northern Iowa. Practicing against his defensive teammates at Northern Iowa got him ready for the NFL.

Mock 1-2 Picks: Edge rusher George Karlaftis, Purdue, Penning.

15. Philadelphia Eagles, from Dolphins, 9-8:

Status: Receiver need remains. Position depth is strong.

Pick: WR Chris Olave, Ohio State.

Mock 1-2 Picks: London.

16. Philadelphia Eagles, from Colts, 9-8:

Status: Pro Day Injury knocks Michigan edge rusher David Ojabo out of this spot. Next defender up.

Pick: ILB Devin Lloyd, Utah.

Mock 1-2 Picks: Ojabo.

17. Los Angeles Chargers, 9-8:

Status: Chargers adjust in fallout from Ojabo injury.

Pick: DL Logan Hall, Houston.

Mock 1-2 Picks: Johnson, Davis.

18. New Orleans Saints, 9-8:

Status: Taking a receiver makes sense, even one coming off an injury.

Pick: WR Jameson Williams, Alabama.

Mock 1-2 Picks: Williams.

19. Philadelphia Eagles, 9-8:

Status: Not taking a QB with three first-round picks shows a commitment to Jalen Hurts.

Pick: LB Nakobe Dean, Georgia.

Mock 1-2 Picks: Dean.

20. Pittsburgh Steelers, 9-7-1:

Status: Signing veteran Mitchell Trubisky to replace Ben Roethlisberger lets them draft at another position.

Pick: OT Charles Cross, Mississippi State.

Mock 1-2 Picks: QB Sam Howell, North Carolina.

View photos of NFL prospect Jermaine Johnson II.

21. New England Patriots, 10-7:

Status: Secondary remains a primary need.

Pick: CB Trent McDuffie, Washington.

Mock 1-2 Picks: McDuffie.

22. Green Bay Packers, from Las Vegas Raiders, 10-7:

Status: Packers looking for a replacement after trading WR Davante Adams to the Raiders.

Pick: WR Treylon Burks, Arkansas.

Mock 1-2 Picks: No picks.

23. Arizona Cardinals, 11-6:

Status: Whatever the Cardinals do can be interpreted as keeping QB Kyler Murray happy.

Pick: WR Jahan Dotson, Penn State.

Mock 1-2 Picks: G Kenyon Green, Texas A&M.

24. Dallas Cowboys, 12-5:

Status: Offseason activity puts OL, WR and pass rusher in play.

Pick: Center Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa.

Mock 1-2 Picks: Linderbaum.

25. Buffalo Bills, 11-6:

Status: Signing free-agent linebacker Von Miller strengthens the pass rush and Buffalo can use the draft to strengthen the secondary.

Pick: CB Andrew Booth Jr., Clemson.

Mock 1-2 Picks: Booth.

26. Tennessee Titans, 12-5:

Status: Titans benefit from receiver draft depth.

Pick: WR George Pickens, Georgia.

Mock 1-2 Picks: Pickens.

View photos of NFL prospect Malik Willis.

27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers, 13-4:

Status: They won the draft and every other offseason activity when Tom Brady ended his 40-day retirement.

Pick: DT Devonte Wyatt, Georgia.

Mock 1-2 Picks: Hall, Olave.

28. Packers, 13-4:

Status: Packers double down on receivers.

Pick: WR Christian Watson, North Dakota State.

Mock 1-2 Picks: Wyatt.

29. Kansas Chiefs, from 49ers, 10-7, through Dolphins:

Status: Chiefs get two shots to improve their defense. They start with the interior.

Pick: DL DeMarvin Leal, Texas A&M.

Mock 1-2 Picks: No picks.

30. Kansas City Chiefs, 12-5:

Status: Chiefs get lucky to help defense with a value pick.

Pick: Edge rusher George Karlaftis, Purdue.

Mock 1-2 Picks: CB Kaiir Elam, Florida, Karlaftis.

31. Cincinnati Bengals, 10-7:

Status: No need to overthink this one. Get protection for QB Joe Burrow.

Pick: OT Bernhard Raimann, Central Michigan.

Mock 1-2 Picks: Raimann.

32. Detroit Lions, from Rams, 12-5:

Status: This is a good spot for the Lions on many levels.

One is to trade down with a team that wants the fifth-year option that goes with first-round picks.

Staying put, there is talent on the board at positions the Lions are seeking to upgrade -- wide receiver, edge rusher and safety among them.

Staying put, I have the Lions making picks for the future.

Pick: QB Malik Willis, Liberty. He's athletic with a strong arm, but needs development. Let him do it in Detroit.

Mock 1-2 Picks: Olave, Willis.

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