⇐ My Mock Drafts
RB#20's 2018 NFL Mock Draft.
Published at 4/26/2018 5:40:31 PM
04/26/2018- v.FINAL. Took much longer than I thought, life kinda got in the way but my mock is finished. All 4 rounds, comments from rounds 1-3. It's not as good as I'd like it to be, but will have to do for now. It's been fun, until next year.
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When I wrote my first mock draft back in March, I hinted that Baker Mayfield could be a dark horse for the Cleveland Browns rather than Josh Allen, but I never went into detail why that was. GM John Dorsey has scouted Mayfield, almost exclusively, going to many of Oklahoma's games and once he landed the Browns job, he called through to Oklahoma's coaching staff on multiple occasions to inquire about the QB's character. He's been quite impressed with Mayfield, and had him as his one of his top QB targets for Cleveland. He would need to be 100% convinced that there was nothing that would hinder his NFL career due to severe red flags. Today, it looks like he can rest his head easy as it looks like Mayfield will end up as Cleveland's new QB of the future. (Take 28.)
Either it's the most elaborate smoke-screen ever, or David Gettleman is as infatuated with Saquon Barkley as he was with Christian McCaffrey last season. I've decided to go in a different direction for the Giants, even though I don't necessarily agree with it, as Chubb still makes the most sense however everything related to Saquon Barkley mirrors what Gettleman said of Christian McCaffrey last season. Barkley would be a solid fit too, and if the Giants do not go defense, this makes the most sense even over one of the QB's. The Giants, are arguably the most talented team to ever draft #2 overall and don't have too many holes. Many of the issues that lead the Giants to end up with the #2 overall pick revolve around the offensive line, RB core and the previous HC. I'm not going to predict a trade-back, as it's something that David Gettleman has not done in his entire drafting history. I think he will resume the same course of action and keep the #2 pick and use it on either Barkley or Chubb, two players that provide an immediate impact.
The trade with the Colts was the cheapest I've seen for a team willing to move up in the draft to secure the QB that they want. Colts receive the #6 overall pick, both of the Jets 2nd round picks this year and a 2nd next year. What a bargain for the Jets, yet also a great deal for the Colts to address their many needs. I like the move for both teams, but give a very slight edge to the Jets being that they didn't have to give up any future 1st round picks in order to make the move.
NY missed out on Kirk Cousins, but in doing so, landed 2 veteran QB's as hold-overs until they land their franchise QB in this draft. Rosen represents a solid indicator of what GM Mike Maccagnan is looking for in a QB- accuracy over arm strength. Rosen could be the most accurate QB in this year's draft class.
This is as simple as it gets. In my last mock, I mentioned that the last overall pick would come down to Josh Allen, Bradley Chubb or Saquon Barkley with Barkley being a distant third option of the 3. This is simple... if Bradley Chubb is still on the board, he will be the pick and if not, the Browns will explore a trade with either the Dolphins or possibly the Cardinals on draft night. Chubb and Garrett on the same defensive line just is not fair.
In a recent news article, Bradley Chubb uttered the words "I have not been in contact with the Browns." I just want to make a note, that any prospect that has EVER said something along the lines of "I have not heard anything from X team" and has been expected to be selected within the Top 5, has gone #1 overall. Not going to happen this year, but definitely strong interest between Cleveland and him.
There's a lot of teams hovering outside of the Top 10 who have interest in moving into this spot- Arizona is a strong candidate to make a move up for a QB on draft day. While I briefly considered mocking a Draft Day trade between Miami and Denver here, it makes more sense for Denver to remain and just draft Darnold instead of moving back. There are many issues on offense, and the biggest question is QB. After that, RB, OL and WR's need some remodeling which can be addressed in the later parts of this draft. Elway will land a QB at this point. I'm surprised that QB is Darnold. Every team he has interviewed with has legitimate concerns about his turnovers and ball security. Sam Darnold should not start Day 1, and I would like Denver to use this pick on defense (Denzel Ward/Derwin James) at this point, but understand that a need for a QB trumps all. I'm surprised, even by myself, that I have Darnold in the Top 5. I just feel that it's a huge reach. His turnovers are more concerning than any other QB's potential "red-flags" in this draft class. If not Denver, someone will move up to take Darnold or Allen at this pick.
This pick comes down really to Denzel Ward and Roquan Smith for me. While the sexy pick seems to be Quenton Nelson, that just seems really high for a Left Guard even if he is viewed as a "generational Guard prospect". Chris Ballard seems very committed to build a defense in Indy, and he's right in his assessment. Ward is an immediate starter, rejoining last year's first-round pick Malik Hooker to help transform the Colts Secondary.
Justin Evans will most likely slide over to the vacant starting FS position, and Chris Conte will more than likely be cut after the Bucs draft Derwin James. Day 1 starter at SS, the best Safety on my draft board, possibly the best overall player on my draft board too. I think the player and team fit like a glove.
I had Courtland Sutton here last time, but I think that was too high for him and it actually doesn't make as much sense as I originally thought. I think if the Bears do go WR, it would probably be Calvin Ridley, but even #8 might be too high for him in this draft. Tremaine Edmunds would be a terror in Vic Fangio's scheme in the middle. He has the size to play on the outside as well as a RUSH OLB in Vic's scheme and thrive. I had him falling to the Top 20 last time, due to top talent sliding because of the QB rush but that doesn't seem likely to happen as he is a true versatile do-it-all 3-down LB and these types of players always go high.
San Francisco opted not to re-sign Eric Reid this off-season, largely due to his role in activism. While Jimmie Ward is a good Safety, he is entering the last year of his contract and Minkah has All Pro potential. Minkah has hinted that he would also like to play CB in the NFL, and that could be very possible which would give the 49ers a long-term answer at the position once Richard Sherman's contract expires.
Navarro Bowman is a free agent, and while the Raiders do have an offer out there for him, the need at QB has pushed great talent down towards the Raiders as Roquan Smith is on the board- a player who normally would go higher. A freakishly talented LB, regardless of whether or not they resign Bowman, I don't see how a 3-down LB who can play in any scheme slides outside of the Top 10. In fact, in my next version, he's almost certainly going higher.
Jacksonville receives: #11 overall selection.
Miami Receives: #29 overall selection, #93 selection (3rd round), JAX 2019 1st round selection.
I'm surprised that the mock fell like this with no trades inside the Top 10. Almost a third of the draft would like to move up to the 11 spot if one of the Top 4 QB's slides this far, and the winners of the #11 pick- the Jacksonville Jaguars. Let's face it, the team is not married to Blake Bortles. He is a stop-gap QB at best and his contract reflects the going rate of a starting stop-gap QB. The team was strongly considering drafting Deshaun Watson last year, and they probably should have. Even though Leonard Fournette shows signs that he can be one of the best RB's in the league, I'm sure in hind-sight, that Jacksonville would have much rather selected Deshaun Watson in the first followed up by Kareem Hunt, Dalvin Cook or Alvin Kamara on Day 2 as Watson is showing that he may be a Top QB in the league for years to come.
That won't happen this time. I think the only regret they will have is that they are passing up on Lamar Jackson. Regardless, the Jags are suddenly a team with not too many holes. Their defense is revived and one of the best in the league, and they have a strong ground-attack. I see them as being successful in making this move on draft day. The Jags, like the Seahawks, sent one scout to assess Josh Allen. There are many of these low-key moves during the draft process, where NFL teams show interest covertly. There have also been a number of Jacksonville scouts throughout the course of the year to watch Josh Allen's games at Wyoming. Even so, this is a coin-flip if they will be successful in landing this pick, as the Saints, Steelers and Bengals can all beat out the Jags for this spot, all of those teams are equally interested in Lamar Jackson. While the Bills would prefer Jackson as well, I could also see them selecting Allen if Jackson is gone.
There are a few teams drafting in the later part of the first round who could trade with Buffalo and surrender a 1st round pick in next year's draft, who would love to have Lamar Jackson and some have him as the 3rd best QB in the draft. I think that the Bills really don't have to move up any higher, as they can sit pat and draft Jackson here as well. I think that the reports of the Bills moving up to #3 overall with the Colts were a bit misinformed as they would have had a better offer than the Jets and their offer would have possibly netted the Colts a future 1st next year. I can't see how the Colts would have passed up on that offer. I think 12 overall is where the Bills want to be to select their QB. I think that even if Josh Allen were still on the board, that Buffalo would select Lamar Jackson over him. I have Lamar as the #2 overall QB in the draft after Josh Rosen, more like the 1b QB to be honest. He's going to be a Superstar in the league. Much like last year, when I felt that Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes II were the only QB's deserving of being drafted in the 1st round, this year I feel that Josh Rosen and Lamar Jackson are the only QB's distinguished enough for that honor.
Dallas receives: #13 overall selection
Washington receives: #19 overall selection, #116 overall selection (4th round)
Dallas has 10 picks in this year's draft, so I do expect them to be one of the teams who will be active to move up within the first round. While they need a WR since Dez Bryant has been released, I think the opportunity to land this year's "Can't Miss" OL prospect is too good to pass up on. It allows them to fill the missing piece at LG. Just thinking, the last time a LG was drafted highly was Jonathan Cooper in the 2013 Draft. That class was one of the weakest in history, while this class is very solid and QB's are going to inflate the value of the draft picks from the 10-20 range. Nelson could even slide further than 13 as his position is the least important on the OL.
Marcus Davenport is probably better suited for a 4-3 scheme, however, Mike McCarthy has had some luck in the past bringing in a 4-3 DE in NIck Perry, and helping him transition into a 3-4 OLB. LB will more than likely be a position addressed early on for Green Bay, as both Clay Matthews and Jake Ryan are both free agents next year. One could argue Leighton Vander Esch in this position as well, or even a Corner. I think that Vita Vea could even be a target here, but given that they already have Kenny Clark at NT and he has been playing well, I see them going in a different direction, especially shoring up the DL by signing Muhammed Wilkerson to a deal.
With 10 days left until the draft, Arizona is the one team that I am surprised has not made a trade within the Top 5 yet to secure a QB. I think Cleveland would be a good option for them at either #1 or #4, then again, Cleveland has 5 picks within the 1st two rounds so maybe they feel good about where they stand. The other option, should they not be able to land a QB, is to go the route of WR. It's a sore spot outside of Larry Fitzgerald, but he is more of a slot WR at this stage in his career and they need a presence on the outside. Ridley is a true #1 WR and playmaker. Ignore the Combine, watch the tape, he is going to be a top receiver in the NFL.
I like this move to draft Mike McGlinchey more than I did when I had Isaiah Wynn here in my last installment. The last time the Ravens selected a Tackle prospect from Notre Dame, it worked out very well for them. In McGlinchey, they gain a solid RT who can both seal the edge in the ground attack and offers pass-protection against some of the more dynamic edgerushers in the NFL, while allowing Alex Lewis to move back inside where he can try for the vacant job of starting Center. This sticks true to the identity that Ozzie Newsome has built.