2018 NFL Mock Draft by kkunert327 - My Penultimate Draft
Published at 4/13/2018 11:38:36 PM
My 2nd to last draft before the big dance. In previous mocks I attempted trades, but really it's a big waste of time due to how random they generally are. So, I am just going to stick to the order and suggest some teams that could move down. As always head over to prettygoodsports.com for more of my ramblings and my fellow colleagues writings. So without further adieu, here we go!
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Rumblings right now point towards Josh Allen as the guy here. I do not like it since I think Allen is the most raw among all the quarterbacks in the top 4 and needs at least a year of development to be able to start at a high level. Of course, in Cleveland he probably will not be afforded that time since Tyrod Taylor is too fragile to hold up for a whole season. I understand, though why they prefer Allen after seeing similar sized guys like Big Ben and Joe Flacco succeed in division. While they also might have FOMO after trading away from landing Carson Wentz who is another similar sized and style type of quarterback. This is a better pick than Saquon Barkley or Baker Mayfield, but I would rather them land Sam Darnold instead.
Again, a blue blood franchise in the NFC East will be taking advantage of the Browns stupidity. The Giants really do not want to draft a quarterback, but if Darnold is here they would be hard pressed to pass on him. They can still keep Eli Manning on the field and allow Darnold to learn from the veteran like a sponge. Darnold is also a hard working kid who will take advantage of the year to get better and never have to sit on the bench again. Plus, Eli will take the beatings behind a most likely still leaky line for a year until they can truly overhaul it.
For the first time in the modern NFL Draft history there will be three quarterbacks taken with the top three picks. It makes sense due to the major need around the league at the position, but also how good this class is and how much less talented next year's class is projected to be. People have Baker Mayfield going here, but I think that is more for media publicity and their hopes of him flaming out in New York. Instead, Josh Rosen who has the highest floor in the group is a smarter move. With Josh McCown in tow to teach him he might learn how to reign in his cockiness that has turned coaches away. Unfortunately, for Todd Bowles I think he will most likely be gone by next year as they find a quarterback guru type coach to challenge Rosen.
If the Browns do take Josh Allen I think they should grab Barkley here if they stay with the pick. Not only do they have a need at the position even with Carlos Hyde, but he would also pick up a lot of the offensive slack for Josh Allen as he learns how to be a better quarterback. I do have a gut feeling that Barkley could turn into a bust, but I think he should be fine for at least a year or two.
The Broncos could go in many different directions here with one of the safeties, Denzel Ward, Quenton Nelson, or Bradley Chubb here. Any one of those picks make sense for them. I do not think Baker Mayfield would be the pick since he and Case Keenum have a very similar skill set so it really would not be an upgrade. Personally, I would go with Chubb who can pair excellently with Von Miller recreating their terrifying pass rush they had during their Super Bowl run.
The Colts could probably trade down at this juncture to gather more picks that they desperately need to help fortify this terrible roster. However, if they stay here bolstering the o-line to keep Andrew Luck healthy is a big boost. They did resign Jack Mewhort and sign Matt Slauson to play the guard spots, but both have an extensive injury history that is hard to rely on. I would draft Nelson to lock down one spot and allow those two to battle it out for the other spot.
The Bucs have their pick here of guys who can help their secondary with either Ward, Fitzpatrick, or Derwin James all making sense for them. I would lean towards corner, which is a shallower position and more valuable overall on a defense. Ward scares me due to his height that can be a determent much like former Bucs first rounder Vernon Hargreaves. However, Ward has a higher athletic ceiling and more aggressiveness to beat out the disappointing former first rounder.
The Bears have done more extensive research on the corners and safeties in this class than the linebackers. Hence, why I have them leaning towards Fitzpatrick here who they have done a lot of research on over a linebacker. Maybe they are comfortable with what they have or they have enough confidence in Vic Fangio to tell them who he likes. Maybe they are doing an covert operation like last year when they took Mitchell Trubisky. They could also trade down since Quenton Nelson and Bradley Chubb is off the board allowing them to move back some and still land a player that makes sense while gathering some more picks. Fitzpatrick does make sense though as a versatile defensive back who can out play Adrian Amos who is a sound player, but still lacks that game changing ability with his lack of turnovers this team desperately needs.
A shocking pick here, but I think John Lynch is the type of guy who would take who he likes no matter the range or what is expected. Word around the rumor mill is that they really like Courtland Sutton who has soundly put himself as the top receiver in the draft. He has a dynamic potential to be a top target with his size, speed, and hands to be a great all around weapon. Sutton would also give Jimmy Garoppolo a legitimate target on the outside to grow with moving forward.
The Raiders will have their pick of top defenders that make sense for them here. From the linebackers to the tackles to the safeties who all can be a major upgrade for them. With the amount they have invested in the secondary whether good or bad has me thinking they may look towards the front seven that needs a lot of work as well. Plus, a strong pass rush is a secondary's best friend. Edmunds is a talented young and versatile linebacker who can fly all over the field from off the line to the edge. He is incredibly young and raw, but has immense potential to be a perennial Pro Bowler.
I doubt Baker Mayfield makes it here and most likely either the Dolphins, Bills, or Cardinals would move up for him. However, if he does make it past the Broncos and the rest of the teams 6-10 who really do not need a quarterback he could land in the Dolphins lap. If the Jets get their guy and with Adam Gase one mediocre season away from getting fired I think he would take Mayfield to save him a year or two more as the head coach. I have my doubts of Mayfield and it's not due to his size or off field concerns, but how Big 12 quarterbacks generally disappoint in the NFL. Granted, I do think he can be an upgrade over Ryan Tannehill, but that's not saying much.
I highly doubt the Bills just sit here with their draft capital and need for a quarterback. However, if they fail to do so I think them rolling with A.J. McCarron for a season is a real possibility. To be honest if Tyrod Taylor can win with this talented roster I think McCarron can do about the same. Instead, they can give coach Sean McDermott his Luke Kuechly who he coached in Carolina in Roquan Smith to solidify the middle of their defense. They need multiple new linebackers since most of the current group is still hold overs from Rex Ryans 3-4 front. Smith would be a terrific fit for McDermott's defense and what he wants to do.
The Redskins could be a candidate to move down since no real fit is sitting here for them to take. I do think upgrading their secondary could be a move due to Josh Norman being the only player of note in the unit. Derwin James can be a major upgrade in the safety unit with his size, length, athleticism, and ball skills. The issue is his overall lack of experience and raw instincts. If he is coached up he could be a rare breed in the secondary with the skills of Ed Reed and the strength of Sean Taylor.
The Packers should be looking for any sort of defensive help throughout this draft, but much like the Raiders who have been throwing a lot of players at their secondary to improve it, they have kind of neglected finding real talent up front. Kenny Clark is just okay and is not a real fit for the nose tackle probably a move to the five-technique makes the most sense. Meanwhile, Vita Vea can be the key cog in the middle of the defense that they have been missing since B.J. Raji's "hiatus" from football.
The Cardinals are another candidate to move up for a quarterback since they are the only team in the NFC without a viable starter moving forward. Sam Bradford can be a nice brief starter until he gets hurt again and maybe Mike Glennon can be an okay place holder until a guy like Lamar Jackson is ready. I love Jackon's upside as he continues to work on his mechanics and gets stronger in an NFL weight room. Maybe under coach Steve Wilks who saw how Carolina worked with Cam Newton he can do the same with Lamar Jackson granted not with the power run like Newton do to Jackson's smaller frame.
The Ravens land the guy who they probably hope to get the whole time in the draft. They have a huge need at right tackle after letting Ricky Wagner walk due to salary cap restraints. McGlinchey rejoins his former teammate Ronnie Stanley giving them a nice tandem of bookend blockers to help keep Joe Flacco upright. I think playing on the right side would be the better fit for him with his lack of top end athleticism and his strength being more towards the run game with his raw power.