2018 NFL Mock Draft
It's time for my 2018 NFL mock draft.
The 2018 NFL Draft begins on April 26 this year.
I know; the chances of me, or anybody else, getting 7-8 right are not very good.
One pick that nobody is suspecting can change the entire complexion on the first round.
These things are mere speculation, but they're also fun to do and talk about, so take a look at my projected first round picks, below:
This we know; the Browns have already admitted they will be taking a quarterback with the top pick, and Cleveland owner Jimmy Haslam spent time with Darnold's family during his pro day at USC. That leads me to believe that the Browns are at least leaning toward Darnold. He has a poor delivery, but he has the size, arm strength, accuracy, and mental toughness to make Cleveland happy that they made him the top pick.
2. NEW YORK GIANTS: JOSH ROSEN, QB, UCLA
There's a lot of talk about the Giants drafting Saquon Barkley, but I'm not buying it. You can't take a running back this high, and they'd get a quarterback who could sit behind Eli Manning for a year or two, and then take over. Really though, Rosen could start for most teams in week one. He doesn't have the big arm, but he does have the pocket poise, accuracy, and intelligence to become a top-flight starter in the league. A lot of people think he's the best quarterback prospect in this year's draft.
3. NEW YORK JETS: BAKER MAYFIELD, QB, OKLAHOMA
Surprise! But really; is it? The Jets have already conducted a private workout with the 2017 Heisman Trophy recipient, and are scheduled to meet again with him. Teams will never admit this, but they sometimes make moves to create a buzz. Taking Mayfield would create a buzz, and have the national media talking more about the Jets than the Giants. Mayfield is a small quarterback, who comes from a Big XII spread offense; so will the buzz last long?
4. BUFFALO BILLS (from Cleveland) JOSH ALLEN, QB, WYOMING
I see a trade here. Cleveland would gladly take Barkley, or Bradley Chubb, who they could pair with last year's top pick, Myles Garrett, at defensive end. They couldn't go wrong. But they can pick up the #12 pick, along with another draft choice, or two. So, why not trade down 8 spots, if it helps? Buffalo would get Allen, who is the most raw of the QB prospects, but may also have the highest ceiling. Remember; the Bills already traded up from #21 to #12. They didn't do that to not take a qb. They're gonna make sure they get Allen.
5. DENVER BRONCOS, SAQUON BARKLEY, RB, PENN ST
I believe Denver wants a quarterback, as I don't believe they see Case Keenum as their starter for the next five years. So, it's very simple; they take Barkley, the best player on the board, who can help take pressure off of Keenum.
6. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS, BRADLEY CHUBB, DE, NORTH CAROLINA ST.
The Colts had the worst defense in the NFL last year. You think they'd love to add the best defensive player in the draft? If it plays out this way, what a great pick it would be for the Colts. A 4-down pass rusher, who would make them immediately better.
The Buccaneers need help in the secondary, and the early run on quarterbacks drops the best cornerback in the draft to them in Fitzpatrick.
8. CHICAGO BEARS, TREY EDMUNDS, LB, VIRGINIA TECH
Edmunds is a physical freak, who is only 19 years old. The Bears need a lot help, but they signed receiver Allen Robinson in free agency to help, so Edmunds makes sense here.
After addressing the defense with the addition of cornerback Richard Sherman in free agency, the 49ers add the best offensive linemen in the draft to protect the quarterback they've made the focal point of their future, Jimmy Garoppolo.
10. OAKLAND RAIDERS, VITA VEA, DT, WASHINGTON
The Raiders have the offense to compete, but the defense needs a lot of help, especially up front. The defensive line ranked 22nd in stopping the run, and was 23rd in pressuring the quarterback. Vea would be a sensible pick.
The Dolphins would like a quarterback here, which they won't take, or a pass rusher, which they might take, but settle on Ward, who some think is the best corner in the draft. He has the ability to play both outside and in the nickel, and should be a solid starter for years to come.
12. CLEVELAND BROWNS, MIKE MCGLINCHEY, OT, NOTRE DAME
There a gaping void left by the retirement of Joe Thomas. and McGlinchey helps that issue. He might not ever be Joe Thomas, but few are. With the quarterback situation already settled, with the pick of Darnold, the Browns can continue to fill all the other holes on the roster.
The Redskins need a cornerback to pair with Josh Norman, and Jackson has all of the tools to be a perfect complement. Some may think this is too high for Jackson, but he's a corner, and good corners are in high-demand.
14. GREEN BAY PACKERS, ROQUAN SMITH, LB, GEORGIA
The Packers would get lucky here; they need a pass rusher, and Smith falls right into their laps.
The Cardinals have glaring needs at quarterback and offensive tackle, but with most of the best players at those positions off the board, they decide to take a chance on one of the best pass rushers in the NFL Draft in Davenport. I can see the Cardinals trading back into the first round to take a quarterback, such as Lamar Jackson, however.
16. BALTIMORE RAVENS, DA'RON PAYNE, DT, ALABAMA
At 6-3, 310 pounds, Payne is more of a run-stuffer than a pass rusher, but he'll be a starter from Day 1. And in Baltimore, he fills a need in the middle of the defense.
17. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS, CONNOR WILLIAMS, OT, TEXAS
This might not be a sexy pick, but it would be a good one. Williams could be starter for the Chargers for the next 7-10 years.
The Seahawks need to rebuild their secondary, after losing Richard Sherman. They can start that by adding James, who can recreate the tough, physical attitude that the Seahawks are known for.
The Cowboys' defensive line was a disaster last season. Hurst is a step in the right direction to turning it around. Receiver is a real possibility though.
Key would have gone much higher if not for a poor 2017 season. Still, he is a pass rusher with first-round talent, and the Lions need help at defensive end. With defensive guru Matt Patricia as their new head coach, Key makes sense here, and may turn out to be a steal.
21. CINCINNATI BENGALS, ISAIAH WYNN, OG, GEORGIA
Andy Dalton took a beating last season and his drop in production reflected as much. Cincy gets much needed help here.
22. BUFFALO BILLS, CALVIN RIDLEY, WR, ALABAMA
The Bills need somebody who their new QB, Josh Allen (remember, I have the Bills trading up for him) can get the ball to and stretch the field. Ridley would be the answer.
23. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS, RASHAAN EVANS, ILB, ALABAMA
Bill Belichick has a history of placing a high priority on the linebacker position. He goes with the best ILB in the draft here.
24. CAROLINA PANTHERS, COURTLAND SUTTON, WR, SMU
The Panthers have spent the last few seasons trying to find quarterback Cam Newton some help on offense. Last year they added running back Christian McCaffrey, who turned into more of a receiver than a running back. This year they add Sutton, a big target, who is one of the best receivers in the draft.
25. TENNESSEE TITANS, HAROLD LANDRY, DE/OLB, BOSTON COLLEGE
Yes, the Titans do have Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan as their starting edge rushers, but Orakpo will turn 32 in July, and he'll be a free agent next March. Tennessee needs to look toward the future. Landry would make that transition into the future much easier.
Alexander was the best cornerback at the combine, and it doesn't seem like teams are too concerned about his injury issues. The Falcons need help, defensively, so this makes sense.
It would appear the Saints would go defense, or receiver, with this pick. Bryan is little raw, but he brings athleticism to the table. I would have zero issue with the Saints taking him. Mike Hughes is a possibility too.
The word on him is that he's a little bit of a project, but he's also very athletic. Could be a good starter in a year or two.
The final qb to go in the first round. We'll see. There are a lot of things to like about Jackson, but he still comes with question marks.
Hughes had big season last year. He looks like he continues to improve, and has a bright future in front of him. I like him.