Connor Dales' 2018 Mock Draft 2.0
Published at 3/6/2018 9:58:18 PM
The NFL Combine is officially over, so we now have a better grasp of the athleticism of various prospects. Players rose up and down the draft board over the course of only a couple days, so I believe it is time for another mock draft.
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The Browns are in a very difficult spot going into this years NFL draft. After an extremely impressive combine, Saquon Barkley has elevated himself into the number 1 overall conversation. But the Browns are in desperate need of a quarterback, and with the quarterback position you need to fall in love with one guy and build your offense around him, and they are not in a position to take risks.
There are several reports linking Baker Mayfield to the Browns, and Mayfield himself has shown interest in being drafted by them. Not only that Scott McCloughlan, who is helping John Dorsey find a QB, has Mayfield ranked as the top quarterback in this class. I think the Browns lock up this and get a great quarterback prospect finally in a long time.
I do not think the Giants will pursue a quarterback this year. If it was me I would, but the Giants like what they have in Eli Manning, and are in a win now situation. They have other needs to address, and the run game was a big one.
Saquon Barkley has shown in game tape and at the Combine he is one of the best running back prospects to come out of the draft possibly ever. This will put the Giants in a great position to succeed in the near future
by giving Eli Manning great targets in Barkley, Odell Beckham, and Evan Engram next year.
The Colts could fill a lot of needs with this pick. They could also trade down to receive more draft capital, but with Quenton Nelson still on the board I do not see the Colts passing him up.
The Colts offensive line has been a huge problem for a long time, and gave up 56 sacks last year. You need to build that line to compete in the AFC South. He is my number 1 prospect in this class, and could play anywhere on the line that he has to. He's one of the safest picks in this draft, and goes to a team that needs to be safe.
I think the Jets will trade with the Browns to move ahead of the Broncos so they are able to pick and choose the franchise QB they want. For realism let's say the Jets give up the Brown their 1st and 4th round picks this year and their 3rd round pick next year to move up 2 spots.
The Jets have a murky situation at quarterback, with McCown leaving for free agency, the two quarterbacks on roster are Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg, who we will probably never see play. Many teams have fallen in love with Sam Darnold, who can make plays and has a solid arm with decent accuracy. Darnold, who is still fairly young, will look to make his NFL debut in a Jets uniform.
This pick seems like a no-brainer. As the Broncos and Kirk Cousins seem to drift farther and farther away, they will most likely need to look for their future through the draft.
Josh Rosen may be the most NFL ready quarterback. He does have some injury concerns, but I think Rosen fits with the Broncos very well, as he gets paired with an offense that has solid weapons and a defense that can get him back on the field.
*PICK FROM THE JETS*
The Browns move down 2 spots to get someone they still would have taken at number 4. He is an extremely versatile defensive back, and can play in the slot or at the safety position. A swiss army knife like that, especially at the defensive back position, is extremely valuable. I think the Browns get 2 solid pieces for both sides of the ball in Mayfield and Fitzpatrick.
The Buccaneers had the lowest amount of sacks last season with 22. With the release of Chris Baker and the lack of production from the edge, something needs to be done. I could also see the Bucs taking a corner, but Bradley Chubb i believe has the most value.
Chubb is ranked the number 1 edge prospect on many boards, including mine. He is extremely talented and can be paired with Robert Ayers and Gerald McCoy to make a legitimate pass rushing core.
The Bears could take a wide receiver here, but based on how well some receivers did at the combine, the value for them seems to come later in the draft. Kyle Fuller has was placed with the transition tag, so corner seems to be the most glaring need.
Ward impressed at the combine, tying for the fastest 40 time at 4.32. He can play both inside and outside, he is that talented. He is a man to man corner that can be a potential lockdown in the near future.
The 49ers are in a position where they have a lot of little options as to what they can draft. The most glaring need is corner, but with Denzel Ward gone, there is not much value this high up in the draft. I could see them trading down, but with Derwin James still on the table I don't think they would make that risk.
Derwin James is a stud. With Eric Reid potentially leaving via free agency, that leaves a hole at the safety position that can filled with a guy that is great in coverage and can hit hard. Take James at nine and don't look back, especially after an impressive combine.
The Raiders had the worst defense in football last year. They are in desperate need of a spark, especially at the linebacker position.
I think it is a toss up between either Smith or Tremaine Edmunds, but Smith I believe is the more talented player, and can cover better. Pairing him up with a front seven that has so much potential that could be downright scary.
The Dolphins are a mess. Recently they just traded for Robert Quinn, which means all 4 of their starting defensive lineman are getting paid a quarter of their total cap. Just wanted to throw that out there.
Their line backing corps is one of the worst in the league. Edmunds has a ton of talent and is an athletic freak to go along with it, and he showed that with his combine numbers. He will bring a fire to this defense that could turn them into a sneaky playoff team.
My second trade in this mock draft, the Bills trade with the Bengals and move up in front of the Cardinals to pick the quarterback they think will help them succeed in the future, as Tyrod Taylor is not projected to survive the offseason with the Bills.
I think McDermott will make a play for Josh Allen, who has a huge arm. He can make any throw, but will need to work on his accuracy. I would not be surprised if Allen held a clipboard a couple games and watch Nathan Peterman tank.
The Redskins have various needs, especially after trading Kendall Fuller to the Chiefs. But the offense as it stands now is a little goofy, and I think they are going to need to find something consistent to stay in competition with the NFC East.
The Redskins have an oppurtunity to potentially get a star running back with this play. Derrius Guice is a pretty balanced back and could make the run game for this team a major strength. He does not have the hands of a modern day running back, but pairing him with Chris Thompson will take that concern away immediately.
This is another big no-brainer pick. Nick Perry is inconsistent and Clay Matthews is not getting any younger. They could take a corner with this pick, but edge is a more desperate need
Harold Landry is a freak of nature. He may a little inconsistent and will need to refine his technique, but his combine has shown everyone what he can become with an excellent 6.88 3-cone drill. You can plug him in as a speedy rotational player to begin and then slowly integrate him into the defense, and he has the potential to make a big play anytime he is on the field.
The Cardinals as of me typing this out have Blaine Gabbert and Drew Stanton on roster. Neither of those guys can start for a team at this point, so bringing a new face into Arizona is a must.
This may be a bit of a surprise, but they will be taking Lamar Jackson for his quarterback skills. I think the Cards will definitely have to sign a veteran quarterback so Jackson can refine his passing mechanics and adjust to the NFL, but the sky is the limit for this former Heisman winner.
The Ravens receiving corps is one of the worst in the league. They need to find some consistency in their pass catchers to mask Joe Flacco's weaknesses.
Ozzie Newsome will take another Crimson Tide in the first round in Calvin Ridley. Ridley is more of a slot receiver than an outside receiver, and will be turning 24 by the end of his rookie season. But those are only small concerns compared to the talent he brings to this offense, as he is a solid pass catcher.