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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Having not taken a hard-line approach at the WR position earlier in the draft, Cleveland can now sit back and grab one of the better remaining options here. Their requirement? Find a big body prospect, and that looks like Simmie Cobbs, who is almost certainly going to measure out at 6'4", 220. He had his coming out party against Ohio State, and makes a fair amount of sense as an immediate plug-and-play guy for their new QB.
Ronald Jones has been a huge surprise this year, and with the prospects at OL and CB having been snatched up quickly, grabbing a potential first-round starter RB at the top of the second is a pretty solid deal for Indianapolis.
The other big-bodied WR in this class, Sutton's stock slipped a bit due to a pretty slow start to the college season, but I would bet he tests pretty well, putting him back near first round consideration. The Jets need a viable starting wideout to pair with their new QB as well, so this makes a fair amount of sense.
And the trend continues. This is a pretty good draft at WR, albeit lacking some pure superstar talent, but Pettis seems on track to be one of the fastest available options. San Francisco's WR corps are as bad as any of the bottom teams in the NFL this year, and they'll need to start building them back up.
While the Miami offense is fairly stacked at the moment, they are lacking a pure starting TE, as Julius Thomas has proved ineffective. It's not a fantastic class at TE in my opinion but Hurst is going to clearly lead the pack, and Miami will be in good position to add him in frame 2.
Yeaaahhhhh there's a lot of need at WR in this draft, and there's just too many to fit into the first round, but Chicago also clearly needs help at the position; Mitch Trubisky is going to be very disappointed when he learns who's (going to attempt) catching the ball for him otherwise. Cain is a decent prospect who needs refinement, but can, in fact, catch a football, which puts him above at least every Chicago skill player not named Tarik Cohen.
The Giants are going all-in in this draft on the offensive side of the ball, from the trenches to skill players, at least in my opinion; it's a good class to be doing so in, at that. Hyatt isn't the strongest OT option but he certain offers them a chance to begin refining an OL that's lacked protection and ability, and might be able to transition to LT with time.
With the Chargers having gone to the trenches early in the previous round, now they get a bit more exciting player in Jaire Alexander, a CB prospect who may be able to salvage the broken secondary Los Angeles has been dealing with.
At some point in this draft, Arizona is going to need to find a QB. I don't know who that QB is or will be, or if they'll even attack the position earlier than we assume, but finding someone who can be molded in the same vein as Carson Palmer, provided Palmer can continue playing in 2018, is likely the best case scenario. Rudolph's arm strength is ultimately questionable, but given time to learn the NFL game and work within Bruce Arians' system for a year, he might be a viable option due to his size and athletic ability.
With the defensive front shored up, the next thing Minnesota should focus on is finding some options on the OL; Crosby has impressed me probably more than he outright should have, and although he, much like Hyatt, needs some work, Minnesota needs to identify OL talent in this class or risk more QB uncertainty due to injury.
While adding another OT is attractive, people forget that the Bengals OL also lost Kevin Zietler, and their interior OL has also suffered; Price can play both OG and C, and could be a welcome addition in Cincinnati.
Cleveland added Jabrill Peppers this year, but I think their lack of understanding in terms of where to use him shows they need another long-term answer at safety alongside him. Harrison hits like a freight train, but he's also got the size to battle with TE's, and could allow the Browns to use Peppers in his non traditional role more effectively.
It kind of feels boring essentially copying this pick from Walter's draft, but let's be honest, the Jags do seriously need a TE this year. Andrews has the height and size to be a quick contributor for Jacksonville, giving new QB Lamar Jackson a nice go-to on under routes and a decent blocker to facilitate his running ability.
The next goal for the Niners with their new QB is to add a running back in the same vein that Ronald Jones has been for Sam Darnold. While Freeman may not scream traditional 3-down back, if the Niners could keep and better implement Carlos Hyde with Freeman, it could offer some interesting offensive plays designed to misdirect the offense and give Darnold chances to grow.
With S'ua Cravens seemingly having become a flight risk, Washington can no longer trust the hybrid SS/OLB prospect, and they're going to need to find another player that can line up at LB. Frazier is a bit divisive in his long-term role, either as a DE or OLB, but I don't think Washington will be too mad to have either, and his potential as a disruptive LB might be better than Cravens at that.
With some questions starting to rise in regards to the Dallas offensive line this season so far, finding someone who could be bred into a new role sounds like the route Dallas may look to go. Ivey is very much a tweener OG/OT, but Dallas, who has taken this kind of prospect before and fostered them appropriately, might be an ideal location.
It's pretty much mandatory that the Ravens add a player from Alabama on any mock draft, so here you go; Bo Scarborough, who has been effective but less-than-stunning through his 2017 campaign, would still provide a decent upgrade over the seven-headed monster that has been built carrying the load in Baltimore.
Okay, so...do I think the Bills are 100% for sure moving off Tyrod Taylor this offseason? No. Dare I even say, hell no. But it's become clear that the front office seems to have a much different vision about his future than what the reality should be, and I would not at all be surprised if that means using one of it's many early round picks on a QB. Baker Mayfield may not be the best QB prospect in this class by any stretch of the imagination, but he is the enigmatic "gamer" kind of player that could shake up the QB room, for better or worse; either to push Taylor to play even better, or to supplant him due to having a massive chip on his shoulder. I'm not sure Mayfield will work out in the NFL long term regardless, but for a team that seemingly wants to push their QB to play better, he makes far more sense as a threat than Nathan "Plain White Toast" Peterman.
To frame it simply; I'm not sure how much longer LeSean McCoy is for the NFL. Then again, I feel like we say that all the time about McCoy. So far in 2017, he's been effective, but not astonishing. Chubb has had flashes of being the type of player that Chubb used to be, someone who can carry the load on an offense, and as the Bills continue to add young players to shoulder the loadfor the future of the franchise, he could be a key cog in time.
Honestly, Adonis Alexander has the size that he could end up being more of a safety prospect, but ultimately I think he'll stay at CB, and the Panthers still do need an answer in the secondary regardless; here's a chance to make that happen.
The class is far better at the OT position than the OG position, but Crowder should sneak into the conversation due to his play thus far this year at Clemson; Oakland could afford to bolster the interior of their line, but I also wouldn't be surprised if this ended up being a RB to eventually replace Lynch.
The main comparison most people are marking with Arkum Wadley is to that of Kareem Hunt; you know, the one that's currently the NFL's rushing leader. That's the kind of RB that the Browns desperately need, as Isaiah Crowell is currently being unused, and when he has been, he's been running into tackles.
If there is any class I'm most interested to see play out this year, it's Tampa's; they still are looking for a Doug Martin replacement, but at this point in the draft the RB's have dried up a bit. My thought? Go to the secondary, where Brent Grimes cannot be trusted as a long-term answer. Thomas hasn't been getting the highest marks this season so far but I doubt he'll last long in the draft process due to his skill set.
The Broncos are probably just going to continue loading up their defense until it's an unstoppable force once again, since they've, once again, lost out on almost every opportunity here at QB if their duo continues to have questions. Smith is a decent LB prospect in a weak class and holds some value by absence of other players in his spot, plus he's a decent tackler.
Let's go ahead and close the Sheldon Richardson gap, as no real RB prospects (in my view) remain available. To get a solid, young, developable prospect on the DL after giving away one that was likely going to leave anyway is a coup for the Jets.
Hubbard has been rated as high as a first rounder, and I do think he's solid, but I'm not sure he's necessarily *that* good. Albeit I wouldn't put it past a team reaching for him due to his long-term potential, to Detroit, who needs to find a defender to compliment Ansah, in the second round seems a good fit.
What's most odd, to me, is that I actually predicted fairly heavily that the Steelers would go QB/TE in the first and second last year; instead, nope, and their other options at QB have been weak. While yes, Jesse James has been impressive thus far, I think a more long term answer, who can double in blocking, like Fumagalli (someone's going to call him some bad Italian food puns, I know it), sounds a lot better.
As the Titans basically have everything they could need at this point, there's really only one thing to do; keep amassing young talent with the BPA. To me, that's Sweat, who drips potential and will have time to grow and meet that potential in Tennessee.
To put it simply, I'm not shocked if New England basically uses the rest of this class to shore up the lines and brace for what the end of this decade likely implies. Jones is a decent OL prospect who could move up some boards come Combine time, and would be a solid fit in New England.
Lowell Lotulelei, much like Vita Vea, is a big bodied DT who seems to be considered far less viable than most think he is. I don't get that, and I'm willing to bet that the Packers would love another big body on the defensive front right now, in spite of the play of Kenny Clark. Working as a lane clogger, he could open the door on the pass rush to make it far more effective, and I honestly thought last year, had he come out, he would have been a first round talent; this is essentially a steal, in my eyes.
The absence of Julio Jones in the offense in essence turns the Falcons offense to absolute mush. They need a reliable second option on the field, and Campbell would be fantastic complimentary WR to Jones.
Callaway is a prospect that's drawn a lot of discussion due to his off-the-field concerns; but Kansas City has shown that's not an issue for them. As much as we like to rip teams like Cincinnati for doing so and failing, KC keeps troubled cases mostly under control. And considering that Callaway has flashes of Antonio Brown-esque skills, adding him to this team as it works to transition towards the Pat Mahomes era could be an absolute slam dunk pick for KC.