2018 NFL Mock Draft by ColinCbock1 - 2.5
Published at 2/5/2018 9:31:00 PM
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With the first pick in a draft filled with polished quarterback talent prospects, the Browns take a gamble selecting a potential superstar— Josh Allen. Allen was relatively inconsistent and showed room for growth during his time in Laramie. Allen is blessed with an opportunity to start immediately and develop under Hue Jackson's offense.
Unlike Allen, Rosen is the most polished quarterback prospect. On the contrary, Rosen likely will not get to start immediately out of the gate. Rosen excels in the short-pass game and will flourish under Eli Manning's guidance. Rosen is a winning quarterback despite UCLA's record (see his 35 point comeback vs Texas A and M).
The Colts have struggled to get to the quarterback and stop the run. Henry Anderson and Jonathan Hankins are great pieces, but none are true pass-rushers. Chubb is everything you need in an edge-rusher and defensive lineman thanks to his great combination of size and agility. Chubb would make amends for a slew of terrible draft picks from years prior (see Phillip Dorsett).
I cannot gush enough about the all-around player that Saquon Barkley is. Barkley is lethal as a runner thanks to his great blend of height, size, strength, agility, and speed. Barkley is an effective receiver as well. Barkley is also a dynamic kickoff specialist returning countless kicks for touchdowns during his time at Penn State. The Browns need to form an identity and Josh Allen and Barkley are key cogs in forming an offensive juggernaut.
Many believe that Sam Darnold will be the first quarterback selected in this year's draft. I wholeheartedly disagree. Darnold is definitely a talented prospect but I see far more potential in Josh Rosen and Josh Allen. Darnold is a great all-around passer who excels with great offensive protection. Luckily for him, the Broncos picked up Garrett Bolles in last year's draft to go along with Matt Paradis and Ronald Leary. The Broncos have great receiving weapons in DeMaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders. The Broncos are truly a quarterback away from contention and I see Darnold as the best option as opposed to Kirk Cousins.
Baker Mayfield was a dynamic football player throughout his collegiate career at Oklahoma. Mayfield boasts ownership of the Heisman trophy among other passing awards. Mayfield is also a proficient scrambler and passer outside of the pocket. Mayfield's ability to create makes him a prolific signal-caller. Whether or not the Jets thrust Mayfield into the starting role immediately is for them to decide as Josh McCown played serviceably last season.
Derwin James is one of my favorite draft prospects. He brings a certain quickness and athleticism that Jalen Ramsey brought to the draft a few years back. On the other hand, James has played a majority of his collegiate career at safety rather than at corner. James is prolific in zone coverage and is also a stalwart run-stuffer. James' ability to adjust to quarterback reads and generate interceptions and big plays is something Tampa cannot pass up— especially with an aging Brent Grimes. James would be a great addition to a secondary that already has Super Bowl champion T.J. Ward and budding star Vernon Hargreaves.
Denzel Ward reminds me of Marshon Lattimore from last year's class. Ward's ball-hawking playstyle at corner makes him a must-draft for Chicago. I've always been a believer in Kyle Fuller but Prince Amukamara and Bryce Callahan aren't selling to me. Ward would add a more disruptive defensive back to Chicago's defense and would serve as a building block.
TRADE from SF
The 49ers (my team, woot-woot!) don't have any gaping holes that loads of cap space and later picks can't solve. The Bills are in dire need of a replacement to Tyrod Taylor. It's sad to see Taylor shunned from this organization, but the Bills' front office has expressed their desire for drafting a quarterback. The Bills can trade their slew of later first-round picks to San Francisco in exchange for the #9 (or #10, depending on a coin-flip) pick. The Bills would draft a stellar pocket-passer and excellent orchestrator to replace Tyrod and would almost certainly draft a few wideouts to supplement Rudolph's production in later rounds. Rudolph boasts great poise under pressure and great size to boot. Sean McDermott has his future franchise quarterback here in Rudolph.
Minkah Fitzpatrick is an all-around stud defensively. Any team that can scoop Fitzpatrick up this late in the first round is in for a serious result. Fitzpatrick is not the speediest defensive back out there but his awareness and adjustment techniques are second-to-none. Fitzpatrick reminds me of Tyrann Mathieu and Earl Thomas due to his great instincts and zone coverage abilities and unlike these two great players, Fitzpatrick has no other weaknesses other than lack of blazing speed.
The Dolphins should opt to select the best player available at 11th overall. Tremaine Edmunds is a dynamic pass-rusher, almost identical to Leonard Floyd in my eyes. Edmunds is fast, quick and adjusts even quicker. Edmunds has great hand-technique in breaking through devastating blocks and generates pressure on almost every pass play. Edmunds is a great run-stopper too. Edmunds' speed and power help him rack up sacks and tackles.
The Bengals have constantly expressed their desires to be a run-heavy team. That being said, the Bengals should look no further than Notre Dame's Mike McGlinchey. Cedric Oghbuehi at left tackle doesn't cut it for me and why not scoop up McGlinchey if you're Cincinnati? He's a serviceable pass-blocker in addition to great run-blocking on the left side. McGlinchey reminds me of a Duane Brown and even Joe Thomas to an extent.
Josh Jackson is another ball-hawking corner from the Big Ten. Unlike Denzel Ward, Jackson is a more instinctual corner. Jackson was a two-star recruit coming out of high school and has really blossomed into a lockdown corner. Jackson would be the perfect complement to Josh Norman given Jackson's gifted on-ball skills compared to Norman's prowess in zone coverage. Jackson reminds me of Marcus Peters due to his aggressive and sometimes game-changing tendencies.
Roquan Smith is a versatile linebacker prospect. A former high school wideout, Smith is blessed with raw athleticism and field control at inside linebacker. Smith is also an adept pass-rusher from the inside, perhaps reminiscent of a Luke Kuechly or Bobby Wagner. Smith needs to fill out a little more but his athleticism and playmaking abilities cover any physical weakness.
It would have really helped the Cardinals to draft a quarterback at this position but Lamar Jackson would have been a risk and I have Mason Rudolph being nabbed earlier on after a trade between the Bills and 49ers. Hurst would be a great interior lineman who could improve the interior play that plagued this team last year. Calais Campbell's departure hurts but this team needs to rebound. Chandler Jones, Robert Nkemdiche, Haason Reddick and Deone Bucannon are a nice tandem but the addition of Hurst inside would bolster their front-seven, particularly on the line of scrimmage, a place where Arizona has been bullied in years' past.
Calvin Ridley is your prototypical wideout prospect. Ridley is an all-around threat thanks to his great speed, hands, route-running and post-catch production. Ridley enjoyed tons of success in Tuscaloosa under Saban's system and is the safest wide receiver to draft. Ridley does struggle with dropped passes and in contested passes but Ridley should be able to fill a void left by Steve Smith Sr. and complement the aging Jeremy Maclin and Mike Wallace nicely.