2018 NFL Mock Draft by kbdavis33 - 1.30
Published at 1/31/2018 1:58:14 PM
This will be a prediction of the draft and not my personal ranking or thinking of best fit. However, where team needs see fit, I have placed players I grade higher.
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In my mock, the Cardinals feel they can't risk not landing a Franchise QB in this draft. They trade their 2018 1st Rd pick, their 2018 3rd Rd pick, and 2019 2nd Rd pick to move up 14 spots and the 1st pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.
The Cardinals opt to take the upside in Josh Allen. His grades have been all over the board. His completion percentage in college was suspect, and he had bad moments at the senior bowl. But scouts continue to rave about his physical traits and arm talent. Plus the Cardinals have a good defense and if they improve their offensive line, can rely on a heavy ground game to make the transition easy for Allen.
With Josh Allen taken first, the Giants can likely choose who they wanted in the first place, being Josh Rosen out of UCLA.
Rosen has been called the safest pick, and the most "NFL Ready" Quarterback in the draft. He's a smart player, makes good reads, good footwork, good arm strength. He's about as close as they can get to taking 17 years off of Eli Manning's age. Whether he plays as a rookie or learns for a year behind Eli is yet to be determined.
The Colts have two glaring needs. Offensive line and...defense. Pretty much all over the place. Few things help a defense like a game changing pass rusher. The Colts could look at Guard Quenton Nelson to anchor their interior OL. They could look at Barkley to take pressure off Luck and the line. Or pair Fitzpatrick with Malik Hooker to anchor down the secondary.
However I think they go with the best pure DE in the draft, who can play as a 3 point or 2 point DE. Very strong against the run and the pass and will be reaking havoc on QB's as a rookie. 10 sacks isn't out of the question in 2018.
In this scenario, the Browns have also chosen to get a QB in Free Agency. Kirk Cousins, Alex Smith, and AJ McCarron are all decent possibilities here.
Now they either take Fitzpatrick or Saquon Barkley. I think that Barkley's stock has been built up a little too high, and RB is very deep in this class. The Browns have a ton of picks and will take a running back later in the draft.
They take the best DB in the class in Fitzpatrick, who they can play at FS and pair with Peppers. It will be very interesting to see if this comes to fruition, how the Browns will move these two around, disguise coverages, etc. Both players are very versatile, and are effective close to the line of scrimmage as much as they are in deep coverage.
I also believe that John Elway will be taking care of his QB through Free Agency. He will want to go after a proven player rather than strike out again in the draft. The offensive line in Denver is still in shambles, but taking who some say to be the best guard prospect in this decade is a good start to fixing that. They can really get the ground game going, and prevent sacks on whoever is behind center for them in 2018.
The Jets could view this as a perfect scenario. With Josh McCown aging after a good season. They can opt to cut him or bring him back on a team friendly deal. That gives Darnold a buffer period to learn the offense and develop the way they want.
If not, Darnold takes the reigns over and the Jets will be tasked with putting some talent around the gunslinger from USC. He will need that if they expect him to have success.
This is a dream scenario for Tampa Bay. They need fresh life in their running attack and the consensus RB1 for the class may fall to them.
If he does, expect the Bucs to sprint up to the podium to announce this pick. Barkley can help the Bucs disguise their offensive line woes, and take pressure off of Jameis, who had a rough season in 2017.
The Bears have a few pieces they could call big needs. I think those to be OL, WR, and CB. I think they could go a number of directions here, but I am going to have them take Josh Jackson.
He's arguably the number one true corner and really has the physical traits and style that will work for Chicago. He's a bigger, phyiscal corner and I think the Bears want to bring in that kind of guy.
This seems to be the most popular pick on every draft you will see. The Raiders run defense is not good. Linebacker has been a problem for years. They fix that issue by selecting the best linebacker in the country.
Super quick, very instinctive, he should be a great playmaker for Gruden.
The 49ers don't have a great secondary. Denzel is a different type of corner than the earlier picked Jackson. He's smaller, but extremely quick twitch, and sticks to receivers very closely. He can be physical if needed however. This is great for the 49ers as he will see receivers like Doug Baldwin, Robert Woods, and the speedsters from Arizona.
The Dolphins don't have a bad linebacker core. But it's not great. And Tremaine Edmunds has a very rare combo of size and speed. In today's NFL that is a huge plus as he is not a worry at all as a 3 down linebacker that can move inside and out.
Last offseason, the Bengals let their lineman walk, thinking they would be fine.
Now they go back to the drawing board, still trying to replace Andrew Whitworth, who arguably was the best LT in all of the NFL in 2017. McGlinchey is a monster. Their are a few other tackles who could compete for best in the class, but McGlinchey just seems like the kind of guy that the Bengals need protecting Dalton's blindside.
The drama ends in 2018 between the Redskins and Kirk Cousins. They can't possibly pay ANOTHER franchise tag on Cousins. And they have shown that they aren't going to give him a long term deal, especially not at the price he can now ask of them. Other teams need veteran QBs and have the cap to meet his demands.
The Redskins move on and trade down to the Bills, trying to recover some of the losses they experienced in the trade for Alex Smith. The Bills give the Redskins their pick at 21 and their first pick of the 2nd round.
Baker Mayfield would be a perfect fit with the new hire at OC for the Bills and wanting to run some college concepts. Would be a great move for all parties.
The Packers would have been great this season if not for 2 things. Aaron Rodgers going down with injury (obviously) and if their defense wasn't awful.
They need upgrades at every level, but their pass rush is weak. Arden Key has the natural talent to be a special playmaker at the NFL level, but he is risky. I think the Packers take their chances on a guy that fits their scheme perfectly. He can set the edge, and if they wanted to, they could move Clay Matthews back, as he's been uneffective as a pass rusher in consecutive seasons.
The Browns are back on the clock after the trade with Arizona, and now look to provide more weapons on offense. Many consider Calvin Ridley to be the best wide receiver available as he has elite quickness and great deep ball ability. He will have a lot to prove but the Browns like this pick.
The Alabama-Baltimore pipeline continues as the Ravens look to bring in a new NT. Payne proved to be a force in the CFP and has helped himself considerably. The Ravens could use help at this position and Payne can step in to help day 1.