Reader Mock by kkunert327

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2018 NFL Mock Draft by kkunert327 - 12.2
Published at 12/4/2017 1:02:48 PM

Normally I make my own order, but Walt's is generally close to what I would have it as right now. So, without further adieu, here we go!

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Round 1

1. Browns: Josh Rosen, Quarterback, UCLA

More likely than the Browns picking Rosen here would be them trading down since a real quarterback is sitting there waiting for them to take him. Honestly, I am not a huge fan of Rosen for a few reasons. First is small size and already displaying a history of injury problems. That will probably just get worst in the NFL. Second there is his brash and outspoken nature that could get him in trouble with the media. Of course, I will admit he does have the best arm, mechanics, and decision making among the quarterback prospects. If he can shake that injury bug at the next level I can see him turning into a Matt Ryan type of quarterback.

2. 49ers: Saquon Barkley, Running Back, Penn State

Main goal for the 49ers would be to trade down here and with the Giants right behind them looking for a qb it may help them raise the asking price. Otherwise a team that sits back risks the chance of the Giants picking their guy. However, since trades are difficult to predict I will have the 49ers stay here and take the best player in the draft possibly. With Carlos Hyde a free agent this off season and since they already tried to trade him at the deadline I doubt he comes back.

3. Giants: Sam Darnold, Quarterback, USC

I used to think Darnold might go back to USC, but after how scrutinized he was this season it will only get worst next year. If he has another up and down year like this one he will most surely drop in the draft. Leaving now will give him the opportunity to avoid that and get better coaching at the pro level. He has the talent, arm strength, athleticism, and the "it" factor to be a great quarterback. Darnold just needs more seasoning and coaching to help him learn the mechanics. Remember he was a linebacker in high school so he has had a limited time to really work on the technical stuff.

4. Broncos: Josh Allen, Quarterback, Wyoming

Honestly, I think John Elway should go after a veteran quarterback like Kirk Cousins, Jacoby Brissett, or someone else rather than draft another one. Elway can evaluate pro talent, but prospects coming out of college not so much. I am not a huge fan of Allen's, but there are many around the league that are. He does have Big Ben-esque size and a strong arm. However, his poor line at Wyoming has given him happy feet and he tends to stare down the rush getting rid of the ball faster than he needs to. I also, tend to like my quarterbacks who elevate a team even at a smaller school like Big Ben at Miami (OH), Jay Cutler at Vanderbilt, Drew Brees at Purdue, and so on. Allen has not done that yet and I think due to his tantalizing ability he will be taken higher than he should like Blake Bortles was.

5. Colts: Bradley Chubb, Defensive End, N.C. State

The Colts would love to have Saquon Barkley slide to them, but I honestly doubt that happens. I would not be shocked if someone trades up for him with the 49ers instead of taking a quarterback. The Colts should just sit back and take whoever the best player on the board is. Right now it's Bradley Chubb who may not be a perfect scheme fit, but Chuck Pagano should be fired so the defensive scheme may change. Either way he can give them a better pass rush with John Simon and Jabaal Sheard who have been nice free agent pick ups.

6. Bears: Clelin Ferrell, Defensive End, Clemson

As a Bears fan I really hope they do not force this pick to be a wideout that is not worthy of being a top 10 pick. In this draft, there is not one wide receiver I would take this high nor do most first round receivers pan out in general. Instead, taking a solid young pass rusher with a ton of upside to play across from Leonard Floyd can give them a fearsome tandem. With Pernell McPhee being nonexistent he may be cut after this season so the need for a pass rusher may be bigger than it is now.

7. Browns: Minkah Fitzpatrick, Safety, Alabama

This is the pick the Browns got from the Texans when they traded up for Deshaun Watson. The Browns need talent across the board so doubling up on safety two years in a row is not a terrible idea. Jabrill Peppers has been predictably bad in coverage, while on the other hand he has been terrific attacking the run and the lower middle of the field. Pairing him with an instinctive safety in coverage like Fitzpatrick can give them a nice young duo.

8. Jets: Dorance Armstrong Jr., Defensive End, Kansas

The Jets I think are more inclined to go the veteran route at quarterback rather than draft another with their terrible history at it. I think they could be very much in the running for Eli Manning or Alex Smith this off season. Instead, I think they will look to bolster their mediocre pass rush to compete against Tom Brady. Leonard Williams and Muhammad Wilkerson have been two highly overrated players who need to be pushed by some young competition. Armstrong plays on a bad Kansas team, but scouts love his athleticism, first step, and natural bend around the edge. He reminds me of a longer Cam Jordan.

9. Dolphins: Da'Ron Payne, Defensive Tackle, Alabama

Ndamukong Suh may be the biggest albatross of a contract in the NFL. With a salary of about $20 million a season and the low production he has brought to the team it is just not worth it anymore. Coupled with his poor attitude spreading to the whole locker room he is just a cancer at this point. Payne is a big and talented tackle with a lot of upside who can replace him. Even if he does give them up and down play like a rookie at least it will come at a rookie salary.

10. Buccaneers: Quenton Nelson, Offensive Guard, Notre Dame

The Bucs could go in many different directions here from a corner to a defensive end to safety to maybe even a quarterback if they are worried about Winston. I have them bolstering their shaky o-line to help salvage Winston's career. J.R. Sweezy and Kevin Pamphile are two very average to below average blockers who can be upgraded next to the talented Ali Marpet in the middle. Nelson is a blue chip blocker who deserves to be picked in the top 10 even as a guard.

11. Chargers: Derwin James, Safety, Florida State

I am all on the Chargers band wagon even at the start of the season. Unfortunately, their kicking game is dragging them down again. If they picked the best kicker here I would actually not be surprised with how badly they need one. If they are still picking here by April they should take what ever blue chip prospect who can fall through the cracks. James is a big and talented safety with good ball skills. He may slide a bit due to his bigger size that may force him to be mainly an in the box safety, but his speed and instincts to me are good enough to cover in space.

12. Bengals: Mike McGlinchey, Offensive Tackle, Notre Dame

The reason the Bengals offense has been so up and down is because of their unwillingness to pay their top two blockers. They allowed Kevin Zeitler and more importantly Andrew Whitworth walk last off season who helped Dalton look like a top end quarterback. Without them he has crashed back to Earth. McGlinchey is the best tackle prospect in this draft class without any concerns over injuries or technique. However, he may not be a perfect fit at left tackle and may be forced to be a right tackle. No big deal though since the Bengals need help there, too.

13. Cardinals: Vita Vea, Defensive Tackle, Washington

I initially was one of those people who thought Carson Palmer and Bruce Arians were headed for greener pastures. However, with rumors that they may force Palmer back if they are still in it tells me this is not how Palmer wants to go out. He really was not playing bad either so coming back is not crazy. That way they can use this pick on a different pressing need on the defensive line where Robert Nkemdiche has been an absolute bust. Vea is a better version of Danny Shelton who went in the same range a few seasons ago.

14. Raiders: Christian Wilkins, Defensive Tackle, Clemson

The Raiders defense is a mess outside of Khalil Mack who cannot produce right now with teams focused on him. Their other pass rushers have been disappointing with how little impact they have made across from Mack allowing them to have cleaner lanes to the qb. One issue is on the inside where they have a weak interior push. Bringing in a high energy player like Wilkins can help solve that.

15. Cowboys: Calvin Ridley, Wide Receiver, Alabama

Dez Bryant has been one of the most overrated receivers in the league since he arrived. Yes, he has the Cowboys record for touchdowns, but that has more to do with how good Romo was and how pass happy the NFL has gotten. He has gotten slower each year and with his poor routes he is barely able to create any separation for Dak to throw to with his weaker arm. A new outside talent to help out their young qb has to be a priority. Ridley is a little leaner than many would like, which is why he slides here. However, he does run good routes and displays good speed down the sideline.

16. Redskins: Clayton Thorson, Quarterback, Northwestern

The Redskins most likely ticked off Kirk Cousins enough to the point he does not resign with them. They should give him a nice sized contract in hopes to keep him, but I can see him choosing a better team like the Jags, Broncos, or elsewhere. If that is the case they need to look into replacing him obviously since they have no good back ups to take his spot. Thorson is a first round quarterback who may go back to school if he is not convinced he is a first rounder. However, he should be with his arm strength, mobility, and intelligence. He does need work on his mechanics and reads like a lot of young quarterbacks. A big plus for him is his leadership qualities and ability to connect to all of his teammates.

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