TheVlah's Post-Superbowl 2018 2 Round Mock
Published at 2/7/2018 1:49:47 PM
Picks do not take into account any free agency additions and rankings are based on my own personal positional rankings. Let me know in the comments how badly I messed the draft up for your team, or in the rare case 2 people on the internet actually agree; positive feedback is also accepted.
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Will this be the end? The Browns version of a 76ers style rebuild has produced 5 picks in the first 2 rounds of this draft, none of which are more important than this one. At the beginning of the season, there were questions whether the Browns even needed a new QB after Deshone Kizer showed promise in the pre-season. Those questions were answered as the Browns became the second team ever to go 0-16 as Kizer through 22 interceptions to just 11 touchdowns.
Josh Rosen has the better natural arm talent, however to come into an atmosphere like the one currently emanating Browns you need a certain temperment. From what can be gathered without knowing him personally, Rosen would be too volatile to thrive in a place like Cleveland. The last QB who stuck in Cleveland, Bernie Kosar, was never known to have the best arm in the league either. Darnold does, however, throw with good anticipation and shows poise in the pocket. He'll have a sneaky solid cast around him with which he can grow with a really solid O-line, potential at WR and TE with Corey Coleman, Josh Gordon, and David Njoku, and solid if unspectacular RBs in Duke Johnson and Isaiah Crowell.
Ideally, the Giants would draft a stud OT to replace Ereck Flowers before grabbing their QB of the future. However, you don't draft in the Top 2 and have the ability to grab this level of QB prospect very often. I don't think Eli gets traded, rather in an ideal world, Rosen learns behind him for a year both on the field and on how to handle the NY media and the Giants transition at QB from strength to strength.
The Colts ended the season second worst in the league with just 25 sacks on the year. Their leading sack artist was Jabaal Sheard with 5.5 and no-one else on the roster had more than 3 takedowns. You can tell watching Chubb play that he loves playing football and he has the type of fire and personality to inspire an entire defense to outplay it's talent level. He will be the stud end the Colts have been looking for since Dwight Freeney and Robert Mathis left town.
From Texans in Deshaun Watson Trade
A lot of Browns fans will want Barkley here, and that is obviously a pick that should be taken with serious consideration. However, in my opinion, the Browns have a MUCH larger need at both Safety and for a Leader on defense. Minkah Fitzpatrick is the best secondary prospect Alabama has produced in a long time. His combination of instincts, intelligence, and athleticism make him the perfect fit to pair with the raw athleticism of Jabril Peppers to anchor the back end of the Browns defense for years to come.
John Elway must be feeling the heat right now. After failing multiple times to replace Peyton Manning, there have been questions thrown around about his ability to scout QBs. There is the possibility that the Broncos sign Kirk Cousins, but for now I won't be making any free agency predictions. Enter Baker Mayfield. The reigning Heisman winner gets some Johnny Manziel comparisons, but I'm not sold on them. Baker is a passionate QB with a live arm that an offense can rally around. Demaryius Thomas, Emmanual Sanders, and company will love having that type of playmaker throwing to them again.
The Jets need a QB. This much is not in doubt, however, with the top 3 gone, questions about Josh Allen's NFL readiness, and arguably the best player in the draft on the board that still feels a need, the Jets should go in a different direction. The Jaguars especially but also the Vikings and Bills proved that you can get to the post-season and have success without a dominant QB if you have a solid Defense, and either a dominant ground game or offensive scheme. Matt Forte is up there in years and Bilal Powell doesn't have the ability to carry a team like that. Barkley, has been touted as the perfect prospect, however that is a bit of an exaggeration. He has good vision and patience, excellent speed, and agility, but he could do a better job of churning his legs through contact and breaking tackles as he goes down a bit too easy at times. However, the Jets would be getting a RB who has the potential to be as good as Zeke or Fournette, if not better.
Risk/Reward. In terms of raw talent and athleticism Arden Key is far and away the best EDGE defender in the draft. However, there are off-field questions surrounding him after he briefly quit the LSU team over the off-season and has been plagued a bit by injuries this year. Depending upon how his interviews go, Key could go top 10 or fall to the 2nd round. He goes here to the Bucs however, because the Bucs need athleticism off the edge in the biggest way. They compiled just 22 sacks this year, comfortably the lowest in the league. Gerald McCoy and Clinton McDonald are the only players who recorded more than 2.5 sacks this year and they both play DT. Noah Spence's return from injury will help but the Bucs take a gamble to improve the worst defense in terms of total yards last year.
The Bears are solid, but unspectacular at practically every position outside of WR but there isn't a receiver in the draft that is worth a top 10 pick. Instead the Bears double down on their investment for Mitch Trubisky by giving him a blindside protector for the next 10 years.
The 49ers Super Bowl run back in 2013 was predicated more on an outstanding defense, and at the time, one of the best o-lines in the league. Shock early retirements and the effects of age to both led them lacking talent by the time Jim Harbaugh left town. The defense is coming together, but still ranked 22nd against the pass, they need another CB to play opposite Akhello Witherspoon. Josh Jackson has the size, ball skills to provide a Seahawks-like defense for Robert Saleh.
The Raiders signed Navarro Bowman after he was released by the 49ers, but they could use a younger, less injury prone option. Roquan Smith has arguably the best combination of instincts, quickness, and ability to bring the wood as I've ever seen from a linebacking prospect, and he took it to the next level in the College Football Playoffs. It would be a crime if he dropped out of the top 10.
The Dolphins running game tanked this year, dropping from 9th last year to 29th this year. Whether that's a cause of a lack of respect for Jay Cutler replacing Ryan Tannehill in the passing game is up for debate. What's not, however, is that with Laremy Tunsil moving to LT, the Guard play dropped dramatically. Quenton Nelson is the best overall lineman in this draft class, and should arguably go top 10 as he helped anchor a dominant left side of the Notre Dame offensive line.
Mike McGlinchey would be a serious option here for the Bengals, but I think after drafting 2 in 2015, although having underperformed until now, they give them one more year to grow before moving on. Shawn Williams and George Iloka are average safeties at best, however and the Bengals defense was at it's best when it had Reggie Nelson roaming the back end of the defense. Derwin James looked like a top 10 lock coming into 2017, but he started slow due to injury before showing the top 10 form we were expecting over the last few games.
The Redskins are going to need someone to replace, who many Redskins players believe to have been their best corner in Kendall Fuller who was traded away in the deal to acquire Alex Smith. Denzel Ward is slightly smaller than most top 15 CBs (he's listed on OSU's website at 5'11 180 lbs so he's likely playing in the 5'10 170-175 range). However, regardless of size, he has the speed and instincts to make up for him, and the Redskins will be glad to have him.
Tremaine Edmunds has the size and athleticism at 6'4 240 lbs to play in any LB spot in the same mold that Clay Matthews has proved to be able to do in his time at Green Bay or Telvin Smith in Jacksonville. With Matthews declining, and LB a need either way the versatile Edmunds is the pick here.
With Carson palmer retired, the Cardinals are suddenly without a plan at QB. Desperate teams reach for unpolished prospects with enormous upside, and Josh Allen certainly fits the bill. With a cannon arm and the size, strength, and movement of Ben Roethlisberger there is a lot to like about Josh Allen. However, there are legitimate concerns about his accuracy and decision making. A poor supporting cast at Wyoming certainly didn't help, however.
Best Alabama player available right? Calvin Ridley is actually the best WR in the draft class and happens to also go to Bama (Spoiler: no other WRs are selected in the 1st round in this mock). The Ravens need someone that Joe Flacco can get the ball to down the field. Ridley has the size, route running skills, and hands to be a consistent target for him.