Pre-Combine Mock Draft
Published at 3/1/2018 2:17:41 AM
10 trades were made this time around.
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QB is a major need, but the Browns decide they can wait until they pick again at 4 to address that. Saquon Barkley would take a ton of pressure off whoever is under center for them in 2018 and beyond.
Trade: NY Giants trade this pick to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in exchange for the 7th pick and a 2019 1st round pick
Not liking their chances at landing Bradley Chubb staying at 7th, the Bucs make the move up to improve their anemic pass rush. Gerald McCoy aside, this team does not have guys who can consistently pressure opposing QBs. The cost is extremely high, but in a division with Matt Ryan, Drew Brees and Cam Newton, getting after the QB is a must!
Trade: Indianapolis Colts trade this pick to the Arizona Cardinals in exchange for the 15th pick, Arizona's 3rd round pick (#79) and a 2019 1st round pick
I have no doubt the Arizona Cardinals are going to do everything they can to address the QB position this offseason. I do not think they'll be getting Kirk Cousins or even Case Keenum. My guess is a veteran stopgap in free agency is more likely to go along with drafting a QB, which they may have to trade up to do. Sam Darnold can make every NFL throw, but needs to cut down on poor decisions and do a better job of protecting the ball.
Supposedly the news of Josh Rosen not wanting to play for the Browns was not true. They definitely need a QB and are not likely to attract a top flight guy in free agency. Rosen is the best one on the board, so they roll with it.
In this scenario, I have the Denver Broncos losing out in the Kirk Cousins sweepstakes. They could still sign Case Keenum or try drafting a young QB on a rookie deal. Baker Mayfield does not have ideal height and his personality can rub some people the wrong way, but the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner is a straight up baller.
I'm guessing the Jets will either land Kirk Cousins or Case Keenum in free agency, so that takes them out of the running for a QB. Offensive guards don't normally go this high, but Quenton Nelson is just so good that he can be an exception to that rule. Between Leonard Williams and Jamal Adams, the 6th pick has treated the Jets very well the last two times they had it in 2015 and 2017. That trend continues.
Perhaps the Giants could just be blowing smoke, but they seem to believe Eli Manning has a lot left in the tank. If that's true, they could still take Josh Allen to groom to eventually take Eli Manning's place. Allen has a great arm, but he's extremely raw and needs some developmental time before seeing the field in meaningful game action.
Trade: Chicago Bears trade this pick to the Cincinnati Bengals in exchange for the 12th pick and Cincy's 3rd round pick (77th overall)
Cincinnati's free safety spot just has not been the same since they lost Reggie Nelson in free agency a few years ago. If the Bengals want Fitzpatrick, they'd likely have to move up for him.
Call this killing two birds with one stone for the 49ers. Tremaine Edmunds is a guy capable of rushing the passer or playing inside linebacker. The Niners definitely need to upgrade their pass rush and could also be looking at a worst case scenario involving Reuben Foster, who has run into more off the field trouble this offseason.
Middle linebacker has long been a hole for the Oakland Raiders defensively. Taking Roquan Smith, the prototypical modern day NFL linebacker, would fix that for the next decade plus. Jon Gruden hits his first pick out of the park.
Trade: Miami Dolphins trade this pick to the Baltimore Ravens in exchange for the 16th pick, Baltimore's 3rd round pick (83rd overall) and a 2019 4th round pick
How about getting Joe Flacco some weapons to throw the ball to? This is not the strongest receiver class, but Alabama's Calvin Ridley appears to be the best of the bunch. He would give Flacco that #1 target he needs.
With Calvin Ridley off the board, the Chicago Bears turn to the cornerback position. Kyle Fuller may or may not be back in Chicago since he's an impending free agent, so they take care of that with this selection. Denzel Ward is not the tallest corner in the world, but he's very smart and has very long arms to help make up for that.
Trade: Washington Redskins trade this pick to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for the 21st pick and one of Buffalo's 2nd round picks (56th overall)
Tyrod Taylor got benched for Nathan Peterman, the Bills 5th round pick from a season ago. This is not the type of message you send to someone you think is your long term QB. Lamar Jackson will remind a lot of people of Michael Vick with his strong (albeit not always accurate arm and tremendous open field speed.
Trade: Green Bay Packers trade this pick to the New Orleans Saints in exchange for the 27th pick, New Orleans' 3rd round pick (91st overall) and a 2019 2nd round pick
How do you make an already fantastic secondary even better? By trading up for Derwin James, the extremely talented and athletic safety out of FSU. The Saints hit big time in the secondary in last year's draft with Marshon Lattimore and Marcus Williams. Adding James to the mix might give them the best secondary in all of football. Dealing a 2019 2nd round pick may seem like a lot, but it worked out alright for the Saints a year ago in drafting Alvin Kamara.
The offensive line has long been a problem for the Indianapolis Colts. Former GM Ryan Grigson never did enough to protect franchise QB Andrew Luck, and Luck's health suffered as a consequence. Chris Ballard decides to start making that a priority by taking Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame's blindside protector.
With Ja'Juan James set to hit free agency, the Miami Dolphins make this simple and just draft his replacement in Orlando Brown. At 6'8" and 345 pounds with 35 inch arms, this guy is a monster.