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2018 NFL Mock Draft by kkunert327 - 2.12
Published at 2/14/2018 4:11:06 PM
My Pre-Combine Mock Draft. As always, check out my other ramblings over at prettygoodsports.com as well as my other colleagues.
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It seems like Scott McCloughan and GM John Dorsey are in love with Mayfield. Mayfield is not my cup of tea since he is small, not as athletic as people talk him up to be, and I feel like when he faces off against good defenses like he did against Georgia he may get shell shocked. Everyone talks up his numbers, but playing in the Big 12 is much easier than say the SEC or ACC in terms of defenses you face off with. Plus, there has not been a Big 12 quarterback to really take over the NFL and until I see one I will always be skeptical. You can have as much fire and passion as you want, but if you cannot move the ball none of that matters. Just ask Tim Tebow who was just as fiery and strong willed as leader with a ton of success in college.
Last Mock Pick: Saquon Barkley RB Penn St
For some reason people are souring on Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen that is okay the same was done to Deshaun Watson last year. However, I can understand peoples fascination with Josh Allen especially with so many people comparing him to Carson Wentz. To me he has the tools to match Wentz from the size, arm, and mobility. The big issue is his lack of consistent accuracy and ability to read through his progressions. Also, thanks to Wyoming's poor o-line he has displayed some happy feet during his final year there. If the Giants keep Eli Manning and let Allen develop in the background then I can see him being a very good quarterback. If he is thrown to the fire too soon I can see him floundering.
Last Mock Pick: Sam Darnold QB USC
The Colts are going to be torn with either taking Saquon Barkley or Bradley Chubb here. I would lean towards the top edge rusher due to the value at the position and with how shallow the position is this year in the draft. Compared to how deep and talented this running back class is. Chubb is the best edge rusher by far with a high motor, versatility, and high end technique. He should only continue to get better as his moves get better. He is not a perfect fit for the Colts defense, but much like Aaron Donald now with the Rams 3-4 front you figure out a way to make it work.
Last Mock Pick: Bradley Chubb DE N.C. State
I would imagine the Browns would actively shop this pick sitting in front of the Broncos and Jets if they still need quarterbacks. However, if I were the Browns they need to start just taking high end talent rather than accumulating picks for down the road like they have. Instead, taking a guy like Fitzpatrick can help round out their defense that actually has a good front and linebacking core. They just need to get more talented in the secondary and a guy like Fitzpatrick can do just that with his versatility.
Last Mock Pick: Minkah Fitzpatrick S Alabama
This pick is made under the assumption they land either Case Keenum or Kirk Cousins via free agency. If that is the case, looking to trade down would be optimal with a team trying to snipe a quarterback before the Jets could get him. If not taking the top corner here whether it be Jackson or Denzel Ward here could be the pick. They seem to be looking to move off from Aqib Talib who is now more headache in the locker room than it's worth to keep him on the field as his play declines as he ages. I like Josh Jackson over Denzel Ward due to his bigger size, and longer arms that can have him be an excellent outside weapon to go along with his terrific ball skills.
Last Mock Pick: Josh Allen QB Wyoming
The Jets could get lucky in this scenario and land Sam Darnold. However, many analysts and insiders believe this will be a very active trading draft this year with so many quarterbacks available. In which case, the Jets are probably going to have to move up to land their guy. People are told that they are all in on Josh Allen, but if I were them Darnold would be my guy. He has a better grasp on a pro style offense, has already been playing well under a microscope, and has much better accuracy than Allen. Plus, I think he would be better if he had to start right away than Allen who needs some time to develop. His mechanics and willingness to force balls into tight windows does need to be worked on, but his "it" factor leadership has me believe he can be an excellent quarterback long term.
Last Mock Pick: Josh Rosen QB UCLA
The Bucs main target has to be Bradley Chubb, but landing Barkley here in the shuffle is not a bad consolation prize. They will need to find a new back since Doug Martin's time in Tampa seems to be over. Barkley is a dynamic back who can run inside and outside the tackles with impressive vision. Not only that, but he is a very effective pass catcher who can make life easier for Jameis Winston. People who think he will fall outside of the top 10 clearly are falling for the fake rumors being made by teams hoping he slides to them later. He is the best offensive player in the draft hands down and should be in the running for offensive rookie of the year.
Last Mock Pick: Derwin James S Florida St
This is a bit of a surprise pick, but I suspect that Josh Sitton may be cut after this season. One is his age and history of nagging injuries that has caused him to miss time. However, the money saved by cutting him could be the biggest factor why. Nelson is a much cheaper player, with more upside, youth, and athleticism at this point than Sitton. The Bears also have his former o-line coach Harry Hiestand who will love to continue to work with his star pupil. Plus, Kyle Long's health has not been the best either so maybe Nelson can take the mantle as the leader of the line and rock in the middle if the veteran misses more time.
Last Mock Pick: Quenton Nelson OG Notre Dame
Well, I was leaning towards them taking Smith here prior to the latest issues surrounding their rookie stud Reuben Foster, but now they may have a bigger need to find a linebacker. Prior to his issues they could have used Smith to really elevate the middle of this defense along side Foster creating a tandem rivaling Navorro Bowman and Patrick Willis during this defense's hay day a handful of seasons ago. Now Smith may be the centerpiece over Foster with his cleaner bill of health, and better off field demeanor to be a more reliable defender.
Last Mock Pick: Calvin Ridley WR Alabama
The Raiders have been told to be in love with Marcus Davenport. Makes sense since they need a new pass rusher to pair with Khalil Mack. However, they are also not scared with using high picks on small school studs hitting it out the park with Mack a few seasons ago. Davenport could be the next small school stud they find and could be used in many ways on their versatile front. He is told to remind a lot of people of Ziggy Ansah, but actually more pro ready than the former BYU alumni was coming into the league. I could see Davenport reaching higher than anyone expects come draft day.
Last Mock Pick: Roquon Smith LB Georgia
The Dolphins are a team that could use an upgrade at linebacker over Lawrence Timmons who is not the player he once was and has already shown scary mental lapses like over the summer when he randomly flew to the wrong city. Plus, Kiko Alonso is jut an okay linebacker and last year's rookie Raekwon McMillan is a question mark having missed all last season. Scouts and analysts love Edmunds with his athletic upside to play at the line or off it. I see him as being an athlete just yet and still needs to build up his instincts. However, I can see him turning himself into a versatile player like Cameron Wake who was once a standing edge rusher and now working with his hands in the dirt. Edmunds can learn a lot from him and be a LEO linebacker for them giving the defense more bite.
Last Mock Pick: Vita Vea DT Washington
The Bengals need to move in a different direction away from the sour apples in the locker room that they bring in to start turning this organization around. Guys like Adam Jones and Vontaze Burfict are doing this team no favors trying to build a new nucleus. One way to do it is by cutting Adam Jones and replacing the likes of Darqueze Dennard and Dre Kirkpatrick who have been underachievers their whole careers. Ward is a talented and skilled corner who could be a top ten pick if not for his smaller stature. I see him more along the line of Bradley Roby who came out of Ohio St than either Eli Apple or Marshon Lattimore.
Last Mock Pick: Josh Jackson CB Iowa
The Redskins did the best you could landing Alex Smith if they really did not like Kirk Cousins enough to pay him. They still have a quarterback who can play for the next couple of seasons before they need to find a replacement. One way to stave that future off is do something the Chiefs never did and give him an actually talented outside option. Josh Doctson has finally showed some life, but I would not rely on him. Ridley is a faster and more polished route runner than Doctson who can be a good compliment to the bigger receiver.
Last Mock Pick: Denzel Ward CB Ohio St
The Packers need to take the best defender available with this pick, which very may well be Vea come draft day. They have been playing Kenny Clark there their former first rounder at nose tackle, but is a little out of place there. Kicking over to the five-technique would be best for him and bringing in Vea to be the nose tackle could actually give them a good front with Mike Daniels. Vea is a rare big space eating nose tackle who is not only a great run stopper, but is very active in the passing game and could be a very dynamic player at the next level.
Last Mock Pick: Marcus Davenport OLB/DE UTSA
The Cardinals could actually catch a sliding Josh Rosen here if he makes it past the Jets since the teams in front of the Cards really do not need a new quarterback. Of course, a team could trade up, but that is something I do not predict just yet. If they can snag Rosen they may finally get the good version of Rosen with a chip on his shoulder that can spark him to play up to his skill level. Maybe he will go out and prove to people he can be a true leader. If he can his high end skills can turn him into a great steal here for the Cards.
Last Mock Pick: Mike McGlinchey OT Notre Dame
I think it is really hard to change your feathers and in the terms of the Ravens they know defense. They should focus on offense, but with a talent like Key sitting here they may be inclined to take him. Of course, they have gathered a few good rotational young pieces on the edge, but none are as good as Key can be. He can truly give them a compliment and a replacement for the aging Terrell Suggs who may be a few seasons away from retirement. Key does have off field issues, but the Ravens have thrived and rehabilitated players like him in the past.
Last Mock Pick: Arden Key OLB LSU