2018 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 11/17): Josh Rosen, QB and Calvin Ridley, WR
The Browns grab an interior speed disruptor to finish off their defensive front.
In 2017, Oliver has 53 tackles with 10 tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks, three passes batted and two forced fumbles. The 6-foot-1, 290-pounder dominated at the point of attack in 2016, starting from his debut game against Oklahoma. All season, the freshman overwhelmed offensive linemen with his quickness, athletic ability, and physicality. He totaled 66 tackles with 22.5 tackles for a loss, five sacks, three forced fumbles and nine passes batted on the year.
Oliver is going to see a ton of double teams for the rest of his college career, but he is good enough to produce even with the extra attention. Like Dexter Lawrence, Oliver looks like a future top prospect for the 2019 NFL Draft.
2.Arizona Cardinals:Kelly Bryant, QB, Clemson
2018 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 11/17): Ken Webster, CB
The Cardinals grab their quarterback of the future.
Bryant has flashed serious potential at times as Clemson's replacement for Deshaun Watson. Like the current Texan, the 6-foot-4, 220-pound Bryant has a good skill set that lets him hurt defenses with his arm or his legs. He has completed 65 percent of his passes for 1,924 yards with seven touchdowns and five interceptions in 2017, plus has picked up 10 touchdowns on the ground. Bryant has a ton of upside to improve as he gains experience.
The Jets traded away Sheldon Richardson, so they could take a lineman to team with Leonard Williams and Muhammed Wilkerson.
Lawrence has 28 tackles with 1.5 sacks in 2017. While his numbers are down year over year, he helps create a lot of sacks for those around him.
The 6-foot-5, 340-pounder was a tremendous freshman to help Clemson win last season's National Championship. NFL sources have were already raving about Lawrence in the preseason as he was impossible to ignore last year. Lawrence was an All-Freshman selection all over the nation, plus was named the ACC Rookie of the Year. He totaled 63 tackles with 9.5 tackles for a loss, seven sacks and a pass batted for 2016. One national scout for a NFC team told me that they thought Lawrence was among the two most disruptive defensive linemen last season - along with Alabama's Jonathan Allen.
4.Chicago Bears:A.J. Brown, WR, Ole Miss
2018 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 11/17): Bradley Chubb, DE
The Bears made a huge commitment and investment of resources in Mitch Trubisky. Even if Kevin White has a breakout 2018, getting Trubisky more weapons is a necessity. Chicago should take receivers in the early rounds of the next couple of drafts.
In 2017, Brown has 62 receptions for 1,015 yards and nine touchdowns. He was injured in the game against California on his first target, and missed the rest of the game.
Brown had a strong debut in 2016 with 29 receptions for 412 yards with two touchdowns. The 6-foot-1, 225-pound freshman showed some play-making potential, and it wouldn't be surprising if he puts together a big season with quarterback Shea Patterson in 2018.
The Giants grab an interior disruptor for their defensive line.
In 2017, Gary has 45 tackles with three sacks, one forced fumble and eight tackles for a loss. The 6-foot-5, 287-pounder is a rare athlete who could turn into a dominant defender. Scouting sources say Gary has high first-round potential if he puts everything together. That could definitely happen during his junior season.
6.Los Angeles Chargers:Clayton Thorson, QB, Northwestern
2018 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 11/17): Minkah Fitzpatrick, S
The Chargers are going to have to start thinking of their replacement for Philip Rivers. If Cardale Jones doesn't prove to be up to the job, they could look for their future quarterback in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Scouts who were through Northwestern told me that they were impressed with what they saw from Thorson (6-4, 225) on tape and in practice. Thorson has shown that he has pro potential in terms of his skill set. He can throw the deep out with a fastball that can be fit into tight windows. Thorson has quality mechanics with a quick delivery. Scouts say that he has a very strong arm, is smart, athletic, and has improved as a junior. He makes some mistakes from trying to do too much, but that is understandable because Thorson's supporting cast is abysmal with an offensive line that is weak and wide receivers who can't separate either via speed or explosiveness.
Some team sources say that they gave Thorson a second-round grade, and one general manager told me they gave Thorson a late second-round/early third-round grade. But they all think he could rise in the leadup to the draft. The reason for that is he a good leader who gets along well with all of his teammates. While he is a devout Christian, he knows how to be one of the guys and get along with the different groups in the locker room. Thorson is super smart and will impress teams with his intelligence along with his character. They think that evaluators could fall in love with him during the interview process, driving him into being a first-round pick.
In 2017, Thorson has completed 60 percent of his passes for 2,583 yards with 11 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. He has four rushing touchdowns, too. As a sophomore, Thorson completed 59 percent of his passes for 3,182 yards with 22 touchdowns and nine interceptions. According to sources, Thorson is likely to return for his senior year unless he grades out as a first-rounder for the 2018 NFL Draft.
7.Buffalo Bills:Ahmmon Richards, WR, Miami
2018 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 11/17): Carlton Davis, CB and Christian Wilkins, DT
The Bills grab a receiver to go with Kelvin Benjamin and Zay Jones.
A hamstring injury has limited Richards to just five games in 2017, and he has 17 catches for 341 yards and a touchdown over those appearances. The 6-foot-1, 190-pounder was a play-maker and very impressive in 2016. The freshman totaled 49 receptions for 934 yards and three touchdowns. His speed was illustrated by his average of 19.1 yards per receptions. Richards easily could have produced more in 2016 if Brad Kaaya had played more consistently.
8.Jacksonville Jaguars:Shea Patterson, QB, Ole Miss
2018 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 11/17): Mike McGlinchey, OT
The Jaguars might give Blake Bortles the 2018 season considering they are likely to make the playoffs in 2017. However, I think Jacksonville could be a flash in the pan that falls back next year, in large part because of Bortles. Before too long the Jaguars should look for an upgrade over Bortles.
It has been a tumultuous year for Ole Miss, and Patterson completed 64 percent of his passes in 2017 for 2,259 yards with 17 touchdowns and nine interceptions before a season-ending knee injury. Scouting sources have told me that they think Patterson could be a stronger version of Johnny Manziel without all the off-the-field problems. Patterson (6-2, 203) completed 55 percent of his passes for 880 yards with six touchdowns and three interceptions in his three games of 2016. He has a good skill set and the talent around him to produce well as a junior.
The 49ers have Joe Staley aging, plus the rest of their offensive line isn't very good. A new tackle could start out playing guard or right tackle and then eventually replace Staley.
Adams is out for the year after a torn ACL. Sources stated they don't think that the torn ACL will keep Adams from being a first-round pick if he comes out in the same year, similar to Cedric Ogbuehi in the 2015 NFL Draft. However, Adams said he intends to return for his senior year.
Adams is a smooth mover with length; it is tough to get by him. He plays with nice body lean and leverage that he uses to help sustain blocks. Adams has quick feet and is athletic on the edge. He could stand to add more power to knock defenders off the ball in the NFL. Adams would be a good fit in a zone-blocking system.
Adams was one of the top left tackles in the Pac-12 during 2016. The Huskies fielded a potent passing offense, and Adams did a nice job of keeping Jake Browning protected. The 6-foot-7, 302-pound Adams has length and size on the edge to go along with good quickness and athleticism. Sources have raved about Adams being one of the top talents for the 2018 NFL Draft class with franchise left tackle potential. They were impressed with his 2016 tape, including how well he did in one-on-ones with Alabama's edge rushers in the Huskies' playoff game.
10.Indianapolis Colts:Nick Bosa, DE, Ohio State
2018 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 11/17): Arden Key, DE
The Colts clearly still need more talent in their front seven.
Bosa has 23 tackles, five sacks and one forced fumble so far in 2017. He's been the Buckeyes best defensive end even though he rotates with Sam Hubbard and Tyquan Lewis. Bosa could explode as a junior after that duo leaves for the NFL and he plays every down. The 6-foot-4, 270-pounder played well for Ohio State in 2016, recording 29 tackles with seven tackles for a loss and five sacks.
11.Minnesota Vikings:Auden Tate, WR, Florida State
The Vikings got nothing out of Laquon Treadwell as a rookie. This year, they've continued to be led by Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen. Minnesota could use a few more receiving talents.
Tate was very impressive in the 2017 season opener against Alabama even though Florida State didn't give him a lot of opportunities. He has 30 receptions for 419 yards and five touchdowns on the year, but the Seminoles have been playing with a freshman backup at quarterback. Scouting sources have told me that Tate looks like a special player, and they think he could explode in 2018. In 2016 as a sophomore, Tate totaled 25 receptions for 409 yards with six touchdowns. The 6-foot-5, 225-pounder could be poised for a big future with Florida State.
Jeremy Maclin and Mike Wallace aren't long-term starters at this point. Thus, Baltimore could target more receiving talent in the years to come.
Johnson has flashed in 2017 with 45 receptions for 683 yards and two touchdowns. He was very impressive against USC and its talented cornerback Iman Marshall. The 6-foot-6, 212-pound Johnson had 28 catches for 315 yards and three touchdowns as a freshman, but team sources think Johnson could explode as a junior as he has mismatch size that could let him dominate the Big XII's weak defenses.
13.Cincinnati Bengals:Levonta Taylor, CB, Florida State
2018 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 11/17): Quenton Nelson, G
The Bengals will have to replace Adam Jones before long, and they prioritize drafting cornerbacks early. Here's a corner who could be a nice fit as a nickel next to Dre Kirkpatrick.
Taylor has 11 tackles with two passes broken up in 2017. Sources have told me that Taylor has been an impressive player in their practice and tape study of Florida State as a cover corner. They think he could fit as a talented NFL nickelback with ball skills. Taylor (5-9, 170) needs to get bigger, but he has a few years to do that.
14.Tampa Bay Buccaneers:Joe Jackson, DE, Miami
2018 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 11/17): Derwin James, S
The Buccaneers could use multiple upgrades at defensive end. If they draft two base ends, they could rotate them with Noah Spence to give them a shot at a more steady pass rush. That is assuming Spence starts producing in 2018.
Jackson is a dangerous edge defender for Miami with a nose for the quarterback. He has excellent speed off the edge to go along with length and size. At 6-foot-5, 258 pounds, Jackson could grow into a solid base end in a 4-3 defense. In 2017, he has 43 tackles with nine for a loss and 4.5 sacks. He was impressive in his play against Notre Dame left tackle Mike McGlinchey, a future first-round pick and starting tackle in the NFL. As a freshman, Jackson made 8.5 sacks.
15.New Orleans Saints:Jarrett Stidham, QB, Auburn
2018 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 11/17): Harold Landry, DE
The Saints get their eventual replacement for Drew Brees.
I had Stidham in my 2018 NFL Mock Draft, but given his lack of experience, he could easily decided to return to Auburn for 2018. Stidham has completed 66 percent of his passes in 2017 for 2,210 yards with 14 touchdowns and three interceptions. Team sources have said that Stidham (6-3, 210) has a lot of ability and that they are eager to see him develop. They think Stidham has the upside to be a special player. He has shown improvement in his accuracy and decision-making over the course of the 2017 season.
Stidham flashed as a freshman at Baylor, completing 69 percent of his passes for 1,265 yards with 12 touchdowns and two interceptions. His freshman season was ended early because of injury, but he flashed serious ability with arm strength, athleticism and accuracy. After the scandal that claimed the job of Art Briles, Stidham eventually landed at Auburn following a stint attending community college for a year.
16.Miami Dolphins:Tremaine Edmunds, ILB, Virginia Tech
2018 NFL Mock Draft Pick (as of 11/17): Clelin Ferrell, DE
The Dolphins grab a replacement for Lawrence Timmons.
In 2017, Edmunds has 86 tackles with three forced fumbles, 2.5 sacks and 8.5 tackles for a loss. When watching the Hokies in 2016, Edmunds (6-5, 236) was impossible to ignore as he was all over the field for them. He recorded 106 tackles with 18.5 tackles for a loss, 4.5 sacks, three passes broken up, one forced fumble and one interception last season. Edmunds is a quick, instinctive linebacker with good length.