2018 NFL Mock Draft 1.0 - 3.3
Published at 3/5/2018 4:13:17 PM
With the combine over, I have done my first mock draft. I am not including projected trades
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The Browns need a QB, but they have the 4th pick. I believe, the way they see it, this draft is stacked with QBs and even if two get picked between here and their next pick, they will still get a future stud. They will be willing to pass on their first choice QB for a future superstar in Barkley, who had a standout combine and can put the Browns on his back from day one.
The Giants would have taken Barkley, but with him gone realistically the only place they will look is QB. Dave Gettleman seems behind Eli and Davis Webb, but he will not want to look past any QB from this group that could feature some future stars. Darnold seems like the popular choice as first off the board right now, but it could be Allen, Mayfield or Rosen.
The Colts could also use Barkley, but the offense is already built around a star in Andrew Luck. The philosophy in Indy seems to be to build around their franchise player, not take the load off him. Their defense needs to improve, and their poor pass rush can be upgraded by not only the best talent at the position, but also the draft's best defensive player in Chubb.
It will be an extensive evaluation process and a difficult decision, but the Browns have to go QB and I just feel like Mayfield will have the edge. Allen is raw and a risk they will not want to take, and Rosen disappointed at the combine. If they can forget the Manziel comparisons, Mayfield has the leadership, accuracy and attitude that can change the Browns.
The Broncos are certainly in the running to get Kirk Cousins, and since I believe this is where he will end up the QB position would then be sorted. They do, however, need other offensive upgrades to get it back to the standard needed for a playoff run. One of those areas in the guard spot next to Ron Leary, and Nelson is one of the best prospects for years.
The Jets need to get a QB, especially with such a loaded class and a top-10 selection. This is a great opportunity, with two elite prospects on the board, to get their guy for the future. Allen or Rosen is a hard decision, but Rosen's poor combine performance might have swung it. They should bring back McCown and sit him in 2018, but Allen has ridiculous potential.
The Bucs had serious pass rush issues in 2017, and a top 10 caliber prospect may have fallen straight into their lap. Davenport should continue his rise towards draft day with a decent combine, and could then become a steal here at 7. He can provide the edge rush and consistent pressure the Bucs lacked last year, and is capable of producing 10+ sack seasons.
Fitzpatrick is a versatile DB who can offer the Bears something they lacked in 2017. At corner, they could lose both Kyle Fuller and Prince Amukamara, which would leave them very exposed to some very good NFC North QBs. As well as potentially upgrading the cornerback position, the Bears could use his versatility to line Fitzpatrick up as a safety.
The 49ers are trying to build a young, talented roster for the future, and one position that does lack many players of that mould is CB. They could use a long term starter alongside Ahkello Witherspoon at the position, and Ward would fit nicely for years to come. He is very polished technically, and his blazing speed will compliment Witherspoon's size well.
he Raiders need to fix their defense, and a good start would be getting probably a top-5 prospect in Edmunds. They helped their situation at ILB with NaVorro Bowman, but he is a free agent and they are back to square one. Moving Edmunds inside should be no problem given his elite run stopping and coverage skills and he could give them a long term fix.
Jarvis Landry was franchise-tagged, but all reports seem to indicate it is looking increasingly likely Landry does not end up back in Miami. If that is the case, WR becomes a big need. Ryan Tannehill will need a good supporting cast to give the Dolphins any chance next season, and so Ridley, who has WR1 potential, can slot in alongside Devante Parker.
This would be a bit of a gamble, but the Bengals desperately need offensive line help and Orlando Brown had a poor combine. The Bengals also have showed they are willing to risk it after taking John Ross (injuries) and Joe Mixon (assault) last year. Williams, despite his poor 2017, showed lots of potential in college to solidify the Bengals line.
The Redskins drafted Jonathan Allen last season, but need a third body alongside him and Matt Ioannidis on the defensive line. They ranked dead last against the run and Vea could literally provide a one man solution to this problem. He is a beast at 6'4 and 347 pounds and is not just someone who will control the line. He is agile and will rush the passer.
I think the Packers will address CB in free agency and there aren't any standout pass-rushers, so even though it isn't a top need adding an OT would help. McGlinchey would be a nice addition and might allow them to let go of Bryan Bulaga, who is a question mark due to cap hit and injuries. He could also slide inside to RG, where the Packers have a hole.
The Cardinals need to find their long term answer at the QB position and don't even have one on the roster right now, so they will be prioritising that and won't hesitate if Rosen drops this low. In reality I expect them to trade up for either him or Josh Allen. Rosen is a very polished, accurate passer with lots of arm talent and could even wind up starting week one.
The Ravens could look at Roquan Smith, but I expect them to go offense in round one. Their defense was very strong last year, but in contrast, they lacked playmakers on the offensive side. Kirk will continue to rise with a good combine and has the speed, toughness and skill a top NFL receiver needs. He can help Joe Flacco by finally giving him a legitimate WR1.