Mock Draft 3.0
Published at 3/31/2018 9:43:49 PM
I'm writing this with 10:16 left in the second half of Loyola-Michigan game. Let's go Loyola.
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It’s clear the Browns want a QB for the future. They established that when they got rid of DeShone Kizer, who was supposed to be the first franchise QB for the Browns in a long time. With the first pick, the Browns make the biggest decision of the past few years for them and pick Darnold over Josh Allen, but the two of them are probably the only candidates to hear their name drawn first. The Jets pretty much forced the Browns’ hand into picking a QB, as they can’t pick Barkley and have their franchise QB available at 4.
If you thought the trades were done, you were wrong. But if you thought the Bills in particular were finished moving, then you were incredibly mistaken. The Bills need a QB for the future, as Tyrod Taylor is both gone and wasn’t the answer. Allen is probably every teams favorite QB prospect when taking into account character, skill, potential, and what he brings to the team on and off the field. Allen comes from a highly obstacle-filled career, but now sits sure to hear his name picked within the first 3 picks.
Honestly, the Jets didn’t need to move up whatsoever. They not only would’ve still had a good QB option available at 6th, but they also would’ve had one of the biggest players they scouted. Rosen is one of the most interesting QB prospects we’ve seen in a long time; he doesn’t have a huge history of winning, but he shows a mature arm and is the most developed of any QB right now. He also has a very high ceiling ahead of him, being considered the Sam Darnold before Sam Darnold (I take full credit for that nickname). He probably won’t start Week 1 if he went to New York, which is great for him as he can sit back and take in information before he saddles up as the Jets starter.
There’s no legitimate reason for the Giants to trade out from the second overall spot, but the Bills are desperate and might be willing to overpay. If that’s the case, then Barkley, the best prospect in the draft and the best running back prospect in a long time, will fall to the Browns at 4th overall. If the Browns passed up on Barkley, then they should pick Barry Sanders, Jerry Rice, or Lawrence Taylor. They’re all retired? Oh..then it seems like they have to go with Barkley.
Running backs, yes, I can understand how they can go top 5. Offensive tackles? Yeah, if they’re a really good one. But offensive guards? No. No way they should be going top 5. But this is Quenton Nelson, the best offensive lineman prospect since perhaps Joe Thomas. Nelson is a generational talent and has the ceiling to be an All Pro. Not only that, but he has the current floor right now to start on any offensive line in the entire league. He can block against the run, against the pass, and has a huge presence on the line and in the locker room. Broncos get one of the potential greats with this pick for a potential QB next year.
The Colts could trade down again, but it’s probably better for them to go ahead and pick Chubb here. He’s always been the pick for the Colts at 3rd, so if he’s still here, might as well pick up the best defensive talent in the draft. The Colts need quite a bit, especially on defense, but they need a star that can anchor their defense for years to come. Chubb is exactly that and can should devastate the moderate offensive lines in the AFC South.
There are reports about how much the Buccs love Derwin James, but that may be influenced by him going to college in Florida. Fitzpatrick is a better talent and brings more to the defense. He’s perhaps the best defensive prospect ever to come out of Alabama and can be plugged in anywhere on a defense that needs a playmaker, which is exactly what Fitzpatrick is. He’s also played great in big games before, which the Buccs don’t really have with their roster.
I don’t see Baker wearing any other color than red. The Dolphins can make any offer they want to the Bears at 8th, but the Cardinals have a bigger need at QB and are in a better position to win now, meaning they may be less attached to their draft picks. They trade up with the Bears and pick the QB they’ve been most likely to pick for over a month now. It wouldn’t make sense for the Cardinals to go with Lamar Jackson, as they can get him without trading up.
Before the Niners got Garoppolo, I had them picking Rosen, but now that they have their franchise QB and have him for good, they can focus on building up the defense back to the powerhouse it used to be, starting with it's would-be leader in James if they pick him. They lacked a playmaker on the defense, which is what James does best. Yes, with everything going on with Reuben Foster, they could pick Tremaine Edmunds, but the secondary doesn't have a leader. They need James here.
With such a dominant front 7 already, the Raiders shouldn't really need Smith, but that couldn't be more wrong. The Raiders were pretty bad against the run, and that's on the linebackers. They haven't had a dominant linebacker in a long time, instead bringing in playmaking corners or big ticker offensive players. Now, they need to add Smith with his sideline-to-sideline playmaking ability. He may not be the best linebacker available, but he fits the defense better than Edmunds and when it comes down to the nitty gritty, Edmunds is only so much better than Smith. There really isn't much drop off.
The Dolphins might be in a position to trade down, but for all intents and purposes, we'll leave them slotted for 11th. The belief is that Baker Mayfield wants to play for the Dolphins and they're willing to give him a shot. The Cardinals are probably going to go heavier in as far as moving up goes, leaving the Dolphins to address a different position with no other extreme QB option besides Lamar Jackson, who doesn't fit Gase's offense. Insert Denzel Ward, the best cornerback prospect this year and one of the best in the past 5 years. Ward is good against the run and can make some plays, but usually doesn't come to that, as he's the best coverage corner in the past 3 years, which includes Jalen Ramsey. Ward would immediately be the starting corner in Miami and would thrive in a division that doesn't have lots to offer.
The Giants could definitely pick Rosen, Allen, or Barkley at second overall, but with this potential trade, the Giants strike big, especially here at 12. The best linebacker in the draft is believed to be Edmunds, who is a dominant pass rusher as well as a run defender. If he fell to the Giants here at 12, they need not hesitate, as their division has some elite rushing attacks between the Eagles and Cowboys.
This is probably the most unlikely trade scenario, but the Ravens need a QB whether they like it or not. John Harbough probably isn't leaving anytime soon, but his coaching staff might, including whoever is at offensive coordinator right now. Jackson is an extremely athletic QB, probably the most athletic QB since Cam Newton (although obviously not nearly the athletic package of Cam). His arm is great and so is his playmaking ability. The Ravens haven't had any home run playmakers on offense since the days of Ray Rice and vintage Anquan Boldin.
I love that Joshua Jackson is still considered a first round talent and that he's widely recognized as the best zone corner in the draft. But even though I'd prefer him here, Alexander had an incredible combine, seeing his stock go back to first round consideration. GM's league wide love the kid and think he can be a great corner in the league. The Packers probably don't care about which one is better, they're going to pick either of them here, as they haven't had a great corner since Charles Woodson.
This pick is paradise for the Bears. They weren't below league average in any defensive category besides interceptions, so why not get the best playmaker in the nation last year in Jackson? He showed a huge leap in his development with an insane 8 interceptions, but they all came in big time games against some of the nations best QBs. Jackson will be against one of the games best QBs of all time in Aaron Rodgers and 2 Pro Bowlers in Matthew Stafford and Kirk Cousins, so his past experience in big games will be greatly needed this year.
The Redskins win here and the Panthers strike out. Ridley was destined to wear a Bears jersey, but after they went and signed Allen Robinson to be their primary receiver, he was paired to many other teams, especially the Panthers. But here, the Redskins trade down with the Ravens, grab some other late round picks, and can now pick the best receiver in the draft in Ridley. The Skins did sign Paul Richardson to a hefty deal, but Richardson isn't a primary receiver like Ridley, although the two would make a great duo.