With hours to go until the first pick of the 2018 draft, I thought I’d take one final stab at a mock draft. There’s actually been a fair bit of movement what with a few last free agency movements and various new rumours doing the rounds.
If you haven’t already listened to it, the BBW crew recorded our own mock draft this week which is available now through the podcast – have a listen! This one is just me, though I’ve taken a bit of inspiration from that!
I’ve included a couple of trades in the below as, whilst even more difficult to predict, they’re needed to try and get as I think I can to later round picks. I’ll still likely be very wrong, much like many other mock drafts out there!
So, for one final time, here goes……
1) Cleveland Browns – Sam Darnold, QB, USC
Cleveland can’t take a risk on this pick and as it stands, Josh Allen and Baker Mayfield are risks. Sam Darnold is the safe pick and the right pick
2) New York Giants – Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
Giants GM Dave Gettleman has said that if you’re picking here you need to be picking a guy who’s going to be wearing a gold jacket one day. Barkley looks like that guy and the Giants take the pressure off Eli with the best RB in the class
3) New York Jets – Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
This could very well be the landing spot for Rosen, but ‘Broadway Baker’ has a ring to it and the Jets will use this pick to excite their fanbase.
4) TRADE!!! Buffalo Bills – Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
Buffalo give up their two first round picks and something else next year to come up the Browns 4th overall pick. And with it they take the big arm that’s attached to Josh Allen. He’ll sit for a year before being let loose in the north east.
5) Denver Broncos – Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State
Could also trade out but I think they’re better than many think and with that they’ll stay put and take the best pass rusher in the draft to play on the other side from Von Miller. Be afraid AFC!
6) Indianapolis Colts – Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
Need to protect Luck and take the best option in the draft for doing that in Quenton Nelson. Plug and play guard who will likely play at a high-level calibre from day one.
7) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Derwin James, S, Florida State
A lot of rumour that this is the pick that will be made but another option to trade out. Derwin will bring strength to that back field. A more athletic Kam Chancellor is what I’ve heard about this guy. If that’s true then this is a great pick.
8) Chicago Bears – Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
Chicago shore up their defensive backfield in a division where Aaron Rodgers, Matt Stafford and Kirk Cousins could be throwing the ball a lot. Ward is the best CB in the draft.
9) TRADE!!! Miami Dolphins – Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
With Rosen slipping further a team jumps up to nab him and that team is Miami. 49ers get a first and a third back. Miami get their QB for the future with Gase not enamoured with Tannehill. Rebuild around the QB most consider the most NFL ready.
10) Oakland Raiders – Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
Oakland can’t believe a talent this good falls to them and as such run up the podium quicker than any player in the combine this year. Immense talent, whispers abound that he is like Ray Lewis when he entered the draft
11) San Francisco 49ers (from the Dolphins) – Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
49ers ‘make do’ with Edmunds who has been consistently mocked to them at 9th anyway. 19 years old, has size and speed and can play in multiple line backer positions. A good developmental player who could be great.
12) Cleveland Browns (from the Bills) – Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
The Browns have a suite of new QBs but with their all-pro left tackle Joe Thomas retired they take the best tackle in the draft.
13) Washington Redskins – Minkah Fitzpatrick, S/CB, Alabama
Shouldn’t really fall this far but a jack of all trades and master of none, his versatility is hurting his draft stock. The Redskins don’t mind as he brings leadership to a defence and fills a big need.
14) Green Bay Packers – Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA
Packers need a better defence and they need someone to rush the passer. Davenport will do that. A bit raw but the new defensive coaching staff in Green Bay can bring him along.
15) Arizona Cardinals – Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
Sam Bradford will get injured and then you have Mike Glennon. Reason enough to have a more talented QB on the depth chart. Jackson has had a tough draft process but he still has the talent to go in the first round.
16) Baltimore Ravens – Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama
Ozzie Newsome loves Alabama players. Baltimore need a line backer. Step right up Rashaan Evans.
17) LA Chargers – Vita Vea, DT, Washington
Denver’s pass rush improved and now the Chargers run defence gets better when they take this man mountain of a player. With Ingram and Bosa either side of him, that’s a good looking defensive line.
18) Seattle Seahawks – Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
The scheme fit here is too good not to make this pick. O-Line help can be addressed a little later, but it needs to be addressed.
19) Dallas Cowboys – Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
Bryant’s gone. Hurns isn’t a No.1 receiver. Ridley could be. Best route runner in the class, his NFL production will outweigh what he did in the college game.
20) Detroit Lions – James Daniels, C/G, Iowa
Running game in Detroit has been poor for years but they can pick up a runner later on. What they might not be able to get is a versatile player who can open up holes for that runner. Daniels can fill in at all three interior line positions and will be do a good job at each.
21) Cincinnati Bengals – Connor Williams, OT, Texas
Very likely they’ll move him inside to guard and if they do, playing him alongside the newly acquired Cordy Glen on the left side will make the passer safer and open big holes for Joe Mixon
22) Cleveland Browns (from the Bills) – Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville
Another need fulfilled for the Browns. Injury blighted his 2017 but he’s got the skills and the build to be a starter in 2018
23) New England Patriots – Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA
Pro player comparison for Miller is Nate Solder. He’ll replace him directly if New England makes this pick
24) Carolina Panthers – Will Hernandez, G, UTEP
Got to help Newton stay upright and got to make holes for the running game which didn’t really get going in 2017. Hernandez is a mean guard who will carry out both jobs and provide entertainment for those watching.
25) Tennessee Titans – Leighton Vander Esche, LB, Boise State
There are some injury concerns coming to light late in the draft process. If the Titans are one of the teams that passed him though then this is a clone of their new coach on the field.
26) Atlanta Falcons – Taven Bryan, DT, Florida
Played in high school on the O-lIne but wanted to play defense. Turned out he was a good defender and now fills a need in Atlanta following the departure of Poe
27) New Orleans Saints – Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State
Drew Brees is signed for another two years and has a new weapon to play with.
28) Pittsburgh Steelers – Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
They’re going to run Le’Veon Bell into the ground this year and cut him loose with the knowledge that they have a readymade replacement in Guice.
29) Jacksonville Jaguars – Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina
Could go in a number of directions here but they get Bortles a big target in the middle of the field to try and hit. Also a decent enough blocker so can be of use in the running game.
30) Minnesota Vikings – Mike Hughes, CB, UCF
Very few needs on this team but CB might be one. Hughes has a few character concerns but has a lot of upside. Good speed and physicality, will fit in well in the NFC North.
31) New England Patriots – Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado
Butler is gone, they need help here and Oliver gives them that.
32) Philadelphia Eagles – Sony Michel, RB, Georgia
Haven’t got many picks in the draft so I expect them to trade out of this spot to get a bit more capital. If they don’t then they can add a great elusive runner to their depth chart.