2018 NFL Mock Draft by matt12crisafulli - 3.5
Published at 3/5/2018 8:20:04 PM
Post Combine Mock
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I am predicting that the Browns will sign A.J McCarron. They traded for him during the season, but failed at the paperwork so they could not get him then. Hugh Jackson said he wants McCarron to be the guy and McCarron has expressed a lot of interest in playing in Cleveland. Now that they have their QB, they get the best player in the draft. A freakish athlete who will change the Browns offense.
If Barkley does not go number one, I could see the Giants taking him here and waiting on a QB. But since Barkley is off the board, the Giants will seek Eli's replacement. Rosen will get a chance to sit on the bench and develop for at least a year under Eli Manning and quarterback guru Pat Shurmur. This could be a good pick for the Giants in the long run.
The Colts could easily trade this pick to move down and get more pick to fill their many holes. That being said, Chubb is an incredible pass rusher. The Colts can plug him in next to Sheard and potentially get a new Freeney/Mathis combo from the outside, just not as good.
The Browns got the best offensive player in the draft, now they snatch the best defensive player. Ward is a fantastic, pro ready corner. He tested very well at the combine, which will likely throttle him into this pick.
The Broncos have been ruled out of the race for Kirk Cousins. They could still pursue other free agent QBs like Keenum or Bridgewater, but I see them likely taking a QB at this selection. Allen was the most impressive of the bunch throughout the combine. Drawing many comparisons to Carson Wentz, the Broncos will put him in a great situation as a rookie.
This pick will be much different if the Jets land Kirk Cousins, but they said that they think Cousins is going to Minnesota. If that is the case, the Jets are back at the drawing board. They need a passionate leader to turn that locker room around, and Baker is just the guy to do that. Like the other QBs in the draft, he has his issues, but his leadership will win over the locker room.
The Bucs would get a steal with Fitzpatrick at this pick. Highly regarded as the most versatile defender in the draft, the Bucs will get an immediate starter and playmaker to bolster their pass defense that was one of the worst in the league last season.
There has been talks that the Bears are trying to trade for Jarvis Landry. If they do, this pick will be different as they may no longer even have the pick, but they also won't have a big need for a wide receiver. Ridley is the best wide receiver in the draft according to many people and the Bears have zero playmakers outside the numbers to help Trubisky.
Regarded as the safest pick in the draft, Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson would be a perfect fit here for the 49ers. They have two good tackles and a good center, but their guard play was not great. Drawing comparisons to Zack Martin of the Cowboys, the 49ers will need help protecting Jimmy because their success pretty clearly relies on him.
The Raiders have many holes on defense. Cornerback is one of them. They released Amerson and will likely release their other starter Sean Smith, leaving them with one viable option who didn't play for most of his rookie season Gareon Conley. Pairing him with another rookie phenom could be risky, but will pay off big time in the long run. Both of these guys will become great players in the NFL.
The Dolphins could address the QB position here, but I find it unlikely after Gase said they were satisfied with their current situation. They will likely look on the defensive side of the ball. Edmunds showed off at the combine and proved that he was as good as everyone said he was. They get an upgrade at linebacker with a great playmaker.
Derwin James is an outstanding player. He had a down year last season, but he proved that he was the real deal by testing very well at the combine. Great size and great speed makes him a steal for the Bengals. Their secondary is aging and they need a young playmaker, which is exactly what James is.
Vita Vea is an absolute monster. Stick him in any front seven and he will likely succeed. Washington is in need of a run stuffer and that is exactly what Vea is. He eats up double teams and allows linebackers and other defensive lineman to make the tackles. He can easily make the tackle himself as well if left one on one.
The Packers need defensive help clearly. As long as they have Rodgers, they are in decent shape but the last few seasons their season ended because of their defense being unable to make a play. Smith is arguably the best linebacker in the draft who can cover well and stuff the run.
Cardinals could trade up to get a QB, but I am not sure if that will happen. They also could pursue one in free agency. In this scenario, the Cardinals do not have a QB. Darnold is their best option at this point. I could see them taking him and then another QB late in the draft.
In my opinion, Christian Kirk is the best receiver in the draft. He does it all at a consistently high level. The Ravens are in dire need for a wide receiver as Wallace and Maclin are clearly not getting the job done. Kirk is one of the likely few receivers that the Ravens will acquire in the offseason.