4-Weeks-In 2018 NFL Mock Draft by JohnnyFire
Published at 10/5/2017 12:27:12 PM
I look forward to all of this being completely undone by the halfway point. This is based off these remaining season predictions: https://playoffpredictors.com/Football/NFL?L=EzCMLdOlT8GLJe9nIejaKxaufFGCQsg1aStRS7G-azJA4h2xt9Wwq2J9qAAMjGhXJM2QA
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Conversely, Dallas is a team on the opposite end of Football Limbo; on paper, they should be shredding the NFC East, but instead, they're just kind of there, not really making any headway on progressing forward. With a passing attack that feels weaker than it ought to be, they will be seeking a wideout at some point in the draft, so why not here; Ridley isn't my favorite WR, but as a complimentary WR in an established offensive attack, he'd be a great addition.
2015 featured a weird mid-draft run on WR's, and I can see the same happening in 2017. Brown is big-bodied and speedy, and for a Ravens receiving corps currently relying waaaaay too damn much on the likes of Mike Wallace and the approximately 432 TE's on the roster, they'll be happy to nab a wideout for Flacco here.
This is a much better class on the OL than we've seen in recent years, and the Panthers, while they could use some help at a number of positions not on the OL, are not in a position to pass that up. Connor Williams, in my view, does have a bit of a skill gap between himself and the likes of Adams and McGlinchey, but in order to open up the field for Cam Newton (and his terrible hot takes) and Christian McCaffery, they'll need to get the OL stabilized, and Williams offers that.
Well, the Rams have certainly been a surprise, huh? I don't think anyone assumed that they would play as well as they have played so far in the early season, but even so, I don't see them finishing into the playoffs, with a strong NFC South and the Lions/Packers mucking up the playoff field. As good as the offense and the running talents of Todd Gurley have been, they're doing it in spite of the O-Line, not because of it; I think adding Quenton Nelson to the fold, who is by and far the best interior OL in this class, would take this Rams team over the top, and give the Los Angeles squad a chance to make a run at the Seahawks and beyond in 2018.
Working on the assumption that Harold Landry is and can be a pure LB prospect, mostly due to his size, he'd be an almost smack-in-the-face fit for the Raiders right now, a team that certainly needs help in their LB corps to take them over the edge. While the injuries to Derek Carr have softened some on the Raiders, a successful 2018 draft could put them right back at the top of the AFC West, and Landry could be the catalyst for this on defense.
Noah Spence, Gerald McCoy, and the David/Alexander have been solid as a defensive front for the Buccaneers, but they need permanent solutions, in my view, in the other 3 slots. While the secondary still needs help, the OL could use some refinement, and I wouldn't be surprised if RB is in play for this team, Chubb is a special talent, and this, honestly, might be too low for him; he's a top 15 pick that may only lose that designation due to the needs of other teams, and could be a nightmare for the likes of Matt Ryan and Drew Brees.
Some might argue that Malik Jefferson's stock has dropped a bit since the start of the 2017 campaign in college football, but that's not going to matter when the combine begins, and he retains his status as the best pure LB prospect available. The Eagles' other needs come down to RB and OL, but this isn't a strong class for pure LB talent; Jefferson not only meets BPA vs Need, but gives them flexibility in the rest of the draft. And who knows; maybe this is a LeVeon Bell destination?
Denver's going to be fielding a lot more questions, even if they do ride their impressive start into a playoff appearance, if they don't fully know who their starting QB is going into 2018, but that's not going to stop them from passing on the position with most of the top prospects gone. Instead, they'll turn toward the DL, where Andrew Brown, a big-bodied DE who's raw but has tremendous upside, could help them close the gap on defense with the Chiefs.
The Seahawks are going to pick as many Offensive Lineman as they physically can muster. There is no surprise here. Okay, some may argue against Orlando Brown as his height doesn't match the prototype for the LT position, making him more of a RT prospect, but for pete's sake, they need ALL FIVE OL POSITIONS, so I still don't see a problem with grabbing him.
Although the Lions have made some moves to try and fill the gap that they have held on their DL since Suh left for Miami, I still think they can upgrade at the position. Which leads to Vea, a damn big boy (most estimate he'll be over 330lbs, cutting some of that with NFL conditioning) who can bully on the defensive front when he wants to, being a nice fit for Detroit. Yes, he needs consistency, but just getting that level of presence on the defensive front would be huge for Detroit to keep pace in the North.
If you're keeping track at home, name the amount of times your starting QB has openly talked about retirement. The highest number should come from three teams; the Saints, the Patriots, and the Steelers. While Brees and Brady have discussed retirement almost incredulously, Ben Roethlisberger seems closer and closer to embracing it as he's taken hit after hit after hit in Pittsburgh. While Ben might have 2-3 seasons left, he's also been out more and more in recent years, and adding Allen, a QB in much of the same vein in terms of build and play style as Big Ben, could give Pittsburgh plenty of time to determine just how serious Roethlisberger is.
So as nice as adding Adoree Jackson was for the Titans' defense in 2017, and while I do think he'll have time to develop, the Titans, roster wise, are already pretty set; they do have some needs and development they need to address, but ultimately, the team is in a unique position where they can continue to amass young talent not only at positions of need, but at positions of future need. Assuming that Jackson develops, and that McFadden, who has a bit more size than other prospects, could develop into a complimentary CB2 in their scheme, the Titans defense could be well equipped for a long while.
The Packers are going to be putting in hard work on the trenches this offseason; that should include revamping their front seven, which means someone like Dorance Armstrong, who could work both as a pure off-ball DE and potentially an OLB to move Clay Matthews back into a more natural position, could be extremely desirable for Green Bay. Don't be surprised, however, if they're looking at one of the top OL prospects here either, however.
New England is essentially capable of taking whoever they feel is the best player at any given time, because their roster composition says it be so. Many will claim that OL, WR, and RB need more attention due to Brady's age and his almost inevitable incoming decline, but I'm thinking their defense, which has been absolute dirt this season thus far, becomes the focal point. Thompson has a ton of potential either in the interior or coming off the edge, and could be looked at as another coup for a team that's become associated with them in the draft.
Remember the name Armani Watts, because he's starting to make some noise so far this season. He's probably best suited at FS, and, hey, wouldn't you know it, the Falcons likely need that position to round out their squad. Atlanta is well built for the now and needs to start adding finishing pieces and complimentary skill players, and Watts can meet that bill; and if his combine season plays out as he's played it out on the field, he could sneak into first round consideration.
Am I aware that this is essentially cheating the system for the Bills? Yes, but there's not an obvious pure G prospect available for them, they already took care of WR, it's not a great class at LB, so why not deal with the absence of Ronald Darby by adding another LSU CB? Much like the Titans, while the Bills do still have some needs elsewhere, this is fixing a future issue while planning for the now, and Toliver/White offers a viable CB duo in Buffalo.