Heysharps Mock Draft 2.0: D+ Edition
Published at 1/8/2018 1:52:13 AM
My last one was a D-, so I know this one will do slightly better. Lets get a D+ on this one ladies and gents!
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I firmly believe the stories that Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen do not want to play in Cleveland. The Browns organization has become a graveyard of failed QB careers, and no doubt that the two rookies saw how Hugh Jackson treated Deshone Kizer. Sure, Kizer was epically terrible, but I have never seen a coach throw his QB under the bus quite like Jackson did.
So Glen Dorsey will find a dance partner for this pick, and I think the Broncos will offer the most in draft capital. John Elway thinks the Broncos are close, and I agree: horrible QB play sank their season. They still have talent at the skill positions and all over the defense. Of the two rookies, I think Elway sees himself in Darnold: the goofy kid with lots of tools who needs to develop.
Rosen all but spelled it out for the NFL: he wants to go to New York. I don't blame him. Like the Broncos, the Giants have skill position talent and a potentially great defense, but bad coaching and injuries sunk their season. With a new head coach, new GM and new culture comes a new QB.
I think Eli stays in New York, and becomes the Kurt Warner to Rosen's Eli Manning: he starts the season, gets a chance to compete with the knowledge he can and probably will be benched to give Rosen time in real games. Its a move that works for both the Giants and Eli.
Don't sleep on Quenton Nelson here. The Colts have done a horrible job building talent around Andrew Luck, to the point his career is in jeopardy. Protecting Luck could be the highest priority for the Colts.
But continuing to depend on Frank Gore and a laundry list of low grade rookies and camp bodies at running back is lunacy. One way to defend Luck is to run the ball with any sort of effectiveness. The Colts can't do that with their current crop of backs. Barkley is a bell cow back in the mold of a Todd Gurley or Ezekiel Elliot, which has become extremely rare in the NFL. The Colts need playmakers on offense to have any chance of turning this around.
Unlike Darnold and Rosen, the Mayfield camp has had no leaks of concern related to playing for the Browns. And Dorsey has already talked Mayfield up to the press multiple times. This is a sign to me.
Mayfield may be small, but his competitiveness and ego are bigger than the state of Oklahoma, and may convince him to look at turning around the Browns as a project only he can achieve. It also helps that there is some young skill talent in Cleveland, and that they will have a massive warchest of assets to build the team over the next several years.
With their second first round pick, the Browns should be in best player available mode. They have so few talents to build around on either side, but I think the defense is even more barren: outside of Myles Garrett and maybe Joe Schobert, there are no consistent young building blocks to form around.
Fitzpatrick is listed as a safety, but his skill set will entice teams who are looking for do everything safeties who can line up in the slot as a CB or play close to the line of scrimmage. Everyone wants the next Harrison Smith or Jalen Ramsey, and Fitzpatrick is that talent.
The talk of Jackson moving to WR, at least initially, is absolutely insane to me. Teams are in desperate needs of QBs, and with offensive line play so bad at the college level that its making it bad at the NFL level, having a mobile QB who can extend plays is becoming a essential. The days of statue field generals are over, at least until offensive line play improves.
Jackson is a flawed QB prospect to be sure: his ball placement, accuracy and decision making are all poor. But Jackson is an athlete of Michael Vick like ability, and his upside as a passer is much higher than Vick's if he puts the work in to develop his passing skills. Jackson is the kind of flashy, high risk and high reward player that will fit in well with the New York media.
The Buc will strongly consider trading down, but with a big need for an edge rusher and the board breaking down like this, they stay put and take the best player available as an edge rusher.
Chubb is solid in all phases, and has the size teams like for a 4-3 end. In truth, Chubb is the best of a so-so group this year, but he is the safest possible pick for an edge rusher who should get 6 to 10 sacks a season, put consistent pressure on the QB and play the run well to stay out every down.
The Bears gave up some draft capital to move up and take Mitch Trubisky last year, and might look to recover some of it this time around. If they do, the two teams to look out for are Buffalo and Arizona: both need a signal caller. I think the Cardinals will win out, since the 15th pick and a 1st next year should be more valuable than two 1st this year in the 20's.
The Cardinals have basically nothing at QB, and who knows how the off season will play out. Depending on what coach they bring in, they probably don't even know where to begin. However, Allen is the last Upper Tier QB prospect in this draft: he has the best combination of tools with Carson Wentz like upside. He also probably shouldn't start week 1. So the Cards will also look for a veteran to help develop and guide Allen.
With their QB situation figured out, the Niners can do what they did last year and take the best player available. That is easily Nelson.
Nelson is basically a perfect prospect: elite size, strength and technique combined with functional athletic ability and one of the meanest mean streaks you will ever see.
I have no idea what happened to the Raiders this year: they went from an incredibly confident, high energy team to a timid group of push overs. Carr went from an electrifying Aaron Rodgers esque play maker to a gun shy, inaccurate mess. Amari Cooper went from being he next elite WR to a 3rd or 4th option who suddenly pulled single coverage against the opposing teams worst cover corner... and got locked down. Khalil Mack went from blowing up double teams to seeing a lot more single blocks, and losing a lot of those battles. I know some people thought firing Del Rio was premature, but this team was an AFC contender last year and they played like garbage all season.
They need tough, quality players at every level and an infusion of good attitudes. Jackson is head and shoulders above all other CB prospects in this class and a stud to boot. He would walk onto the field as the Raiders best defensive back and could be a lock down player for a decade.
The Dolphins have not had a great off the ball linebacker since Zach Thomas. And for the past few years they have been really hurt by this. They hoped Kiko Alonso could regain his rookie form, but injuries have robbed Alonso of his ability and he is now a borderline starter at best, and he is arguably the Dolphins best linebacker. That shows you how bad it has gotten.
Smith is small, but other than size Smith is a very good off the ball linebacker prospect with great speed, instincts and tackling ability. He has the frame to add a bit of weight, so some time in an NFL strength and conditioning program should help the size problem.
The offensive tackle class this year is interesting, because the top 2 prospects played like top 5 picks when healthy, but both struggled with health all season and that should knock them down the board. The Bengals will greatly appreciate it, because they will get a shot at a potential All Pro lower than they would normally go.
McGlinchey was dominate when healthy, but found himself banged up and in and out of the lineup throughout the season. He has NFL level feet and great technique, and plays with a real meanstreak. He could play either tackle spot for the Bengals, who need a tackle to play somewhere.
The Redskins are in a tough spot. We have no idea how the Kirk Cousins situation will play out. If they can resign him, then building around him will be essential. Luckily for the Redskins, the way that this board is playing out they will score the best prospect on the board.
James is a pure safety, which puts him behind Fitzpatrick and Jackson, but he is a great safety prospect who could play either spot. His size and tackling is good enough to play in the box, and he has enough speed and change of direction ability to play centerfield. He is risky, but has the skills of a Pro Bowler.
With the best defensive backs off the board, the Packers will look to trade down. They do this often, and they could afford to add a few more picks this year and next to get this pathetic roster turned around.
The WR class is wide open right now(lel). I don't see much separation between Ridley, Sutton, Kirkland and Cobbs right now(lel). Basically, this pick could change, but whoever pulls ahead as the top receiver prospect will be the target of the Cowboys, who have a receiver corps full of 3rd and 5th options.
The Bears will either go offensive line or wide receiver, as they really need both of them. But I feel the receivers on the roster did just enough to keep their jobs, and with a second round pick now there are receivers available. But offensive line is a weakness in this draft, so taking a potential top 10 pick at 15 is too good to pas up.
Williams has been dealing with injuries all season, but when healthy he was exceptional as a pass blocker. He is a bit undersized, short armed and lacks strength, but he has elite feet and great technique. His frame could add 15 pounds easily, and his ability to mirror speed rushers in unmatched in this class.
The Ravens are stuck with Joe Flacco for at least one more season, so building up the team around him will be essential. They may have found their primary back in Alex Collins, who certainly earned a chance to prove it next year. But receivers Jeremy Maclin and Mike Wallace are washed up, Michael Campanaro is maxed out and Breshad Perriman is a bust. They have nothing here to build on.
Sutton is a massive play maker with great size and hands. His pure speed is a question, but if he tests well he would likely over take Ridley as the top WR in this class.