Mock Draft 1.0 (6 Trades)
Published at 3/5/2018 8:47:00 PM
I am trying to propose a combination of both what I think they should do, and what I think each team will do. QBs go in four of the top five picks, Browns get three first-round picks, Patriots get two first rounders, and some big names fall in the draft. Note: I am going to assume Cousins to Minnesota, Keenum to the Broncos, and McCarron to the Cardinals. Each guy comes with different strategies into the future, and I plan around those.
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Given John Dorsey stepping in, I think the Browns make sure they get their guy. Darnold is the top QB, and he is acting like it. While Allen and Mayfield have gained some interest, and Barkley is the better player, they Browns need to solidify the QB. As Mike Mayock keeps saying, the defense is ready to win. They just need to fix their offense.
This offense needs an identity with the sliding Eli manning. OBJ will be back in full in 2018, and Ingram is the only other viable playmaker that will take the field for them next year. The O-Line will get help in free agency and later in the draft, they'll ride Eli 1-2 more years, and Barkley will become the focal point of the offense. The pick might be Chubb, but I think they have enough money locked into the defense.
TRADE!! Yes. Baker Mayfield. He is the guy. And he will be successful. Josh Rosen is a better passer, Josh Allen is a better athlete, but Mayfield is the best leader. And that has to be what MacCagnan is looking for to take this team to the next stage. This team needs help everywhere, but QB is point one.
Jets give up #6 and #49 (2nd), and probably a 2019 pick for #3 and a late round pick. (Jets have two 2nd round picks)
TRADE!! Another team jumps the Broncos to take a QB. We've been hearing the Dolphins are trying to inch their way up in the draft with the potential Bears trade with Jarvis Landry to move up to 8. The Browns don't need another pass rusher after Myles Garrett last year, so they're happy to collect picks. Rosen gets to learn for half a year (maybe longer) from Tannehill.
Dolphins give up #11, #42 (2nd), and a veteran for #4.
How aggressive will Elway be to get a QB? I think very aggressive. They trade Seimien, they hold Paxton, sign Keenum, and still draft a guy in the top five. Josh Allen is a sky-high prospect who needs time to improve mechanics, accuracy, and play in a pro-style offense. They can sit him for a ton of time (like Paxton Lynch) behind Keenum.
I am not a huge Josh Allen guy. I think he has too many shades of Paxton Lynch, Jamarcus Russell, etc who are Height-Weight-Speed guys and will struggle on the field with anticipation and accuracy. But obviously, Elway likes the mold of elite QB athletes.
The Colts trade down, collect picks, and STILL get Chubb? This is the ideal scenario for them. Obviously a homerun pick for an elite passrusher that will make that entire defense better. Look for him and John Simon to each hit 8+ sacks in 2018.
The Bucs need defense. The obvious answer is to pick Quenton Nelson, but I think they want to help the secondary. A shutdown corner and freak athlete immediately makes them better. They wanted Chubb, but have to "settle" for Ward.
The Bears cut Josh Sitton, Jerrell Freeman, and Pernell McPhee this offseason. They're going to replace one of them here. I went with Nelson, because the Bears had a top-10 defense and the 32nd ranked offense in 2017. (That's right. The Browns were better on offense) This will help the running game, and his athleticism will let him block for Trubisky on the massive number of bootlegs that they will run.
TRADE!! This is a terrible spot for the Niners, so I think they shop around. The Browns are the best spot and are able to go get a good secondary player. He is a steal at #9, when he could go in the top 5. Teams are feasting here after the run on QBs.
Browns give up #11 and #123 (4th) for #9.
The Raiders need help everywhere, and we're hearing that they are planning a slow rebuild. As of writing this, they also cut Aldon Smith today. So why not pick a 19 year old who will be around for a while, who can rush across from Mack or play Middle Linebacker? This guy will end up as the leader of their defense quickly.
No one is talking about the Niners as a landing spot for a receiver, but they should. Ridley is a good route runner who isn't a top tier talent. But adding him with Marquis Goodwin and Pierre Garcon gives Jimmy G a group of pass-catchers that can get open and make plays. Reminds me of New England, where they never have a true #1, only a bunch of #2s that are going to test your second, third, and fourth corners.
The Bengals need to rebuild on the offensive line. I think the top Tackle will come down to Connor Williams or Mike McGlinchey. I'm not convinced one way or the other, but one of them will get consideration here.
Evans surpassed Roquan Smith at the combine, by showing he had elite change of direction skills in movement drills to go with his huge, thumper play. The Redskins are in need of more defensive talent, and with Jonathan Allen coming back they're bound to look outside of the D-Line.
Clay Matthews is old. He needed more than five seconds to beat a backup tight end one-on-one on Thursday night to sack Glennon out of a starting job. He's clearly not what he once was, and Nick Perry is a secondary option. Davenport may not be ready to play full-time right away, but he is going to be a good player as a situational guy in year one who has tons of upside a few years after that. The defense is atrocious, so getting to the QB is needed help.
The Cardinals rock AJ McCarron going into next season, hoping he turns into something worthwhile. They need to block for him. The line between left and right tackle is disappearing as teams move their best pass rusher around. McGlinchey starts at LG right away, and replaces Jered Veldheer in 2019 at RT.
This pick was tough. The best positions are not big needs, and I think Ozzie's last draft will be more about transition that sticking with his longtime strategy. This might be a reach, but Harold Landry looked good in the Combine and they need a long-term answer for T-Sizzle's retirement.