⇐ My Mock Drafts
2018 NFL Mock Draft by IkeC. - 3.18
Published at 3/18/2018 6:09:44 PM
This is My Mock 2.0. Descriptions are from NFL.com.
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Darnold has a thick/sturdy frame and the desired height for the position. He operated in the shotgun in the Trojans' offense. He has quick feet in his setup and throws from a wide base. He has a long, loopy throwing motion, but it's actually very quick and explosive -- and he has shown the ability to tighten it up at times. He has very quick eyes to work through progressions and throws with excellent anticipation. He's adept at changing ball speed and ball flight. He has enough velocity to fit balls into tight windows. Once he improves his weight transfer from his back foot to his front foot, he will see an uptick in accuracy and velocity. Darnold is a very nifty athlete, capable of escaping free rushers and creating explosive plays downfield. He's also a very competitive runner who fights for extra yards. His biggest issue has been his propensity to fumble the ball. He needs to do a better job of keeping both hands on the ball in the pocket and covering the ball up once he takes off. Overall, Darnold has some areas to clean up, but I love his size, competitiveness and ability to make plays on and off schedule.
Barkley is one of the most dynamic running backs to enter the NFL in the last decade. He's built like a brick house, with an extremely thick/muscular lower body. On inside runs, he's quick to press the line of scrimmage before stopping, sorting and then exploding through the hole. When he decides to bounce the ball outside, Barkley has an incredible lateral burst. He's at his best on stretch runs. When he puts his foot in the ground and drives upfield, his suddenness is exceptional. He rarely drops his shoulder on contact, but his lower-body strength allows him to power through tacklers, and he also possesses a violent stiff arm. He has elite home-run speed and can make defenders miss at the second and third level without gearing down. Barkley's a versatile weapon in the passing game, capable of splitting out wide and running receiver routes with ease. He has natural hands. He's also reliable in pass protection, displaying both awareness and willingness. Overall, Barkley is capable of becoming the best player at his position very early in his NFL career.
Rosen has ideal height/weight for his position, although he does have a narrow frame. He's the best pure passer in the draft. Rosen is precise in his drop and throws from a firm platform. He has a sharp, quick release and throws a majestic ball. He's at his best in rhythm/on-time throws. His anticipation is excellent, as is his ball placement. He has plenty of velocity to make every throw. Issues arise when he's under duress. He struggles to create on his own and his accuracy suffers when he's forced off his original launch point. When a lane opens up, he will pick up the free yards with his feet, but he needs to improve his ability to escape when pressured. Durability is also a concern. Overall, I think Rosen is ready to play right away, but he needs to continue to develop his off-script skills.
Fitzpatrick is an outstanding playmaker who possesses the versatility to play every position in the secondary. He primarily lined up as the nickel this past season, but he played cornerback as well as safety in previous campaigns. He's at his best when allowed to float and keep his eyes on the quarterback. He has outstanding instincts, anticipation and ball skills. In man coverage, he has the size and speed to match up with both the big/physical pass-catchers as well as the smaller/quicker wideouts. He does have some hip tightness when he changes direction, but he recovers quickly because of his explosiveness. Against the run, he's aggressive to attack the line of scrimmage and is a very dependable tackler in space. He's an outstanding blitzer, displaying timing and burst. I love the energy and enthusiasm he brings to the defense. Overall, I see Fitzpatrick as a dynamic safety on run downs and a playmaking nickel on passing downs. He's a bigger version of Tyrann Mathieu and I think he will make a similar impact in the league.
Nelson lined up at left guard for the Irish this past season and that is where he projects at the next level. He has a thick, hulking build -- and he's the nastiest offensive line prospect I've ever evaluated. In the run game, he is quick out of his stance and has the ability to completely wash opposing players down the line of scrimmage. He rolls his hips on contact, locks on with a powerful grip and doesn't let up until he's finished the job. Nelson is very effective when he works up to the second level on combo blocks and pulls. He can adjust in space and he blocks through the whistle consistently. In pass protection, Nelson possesses an immediate anchor vs. power rushers and effortlessly handles twists and stunts. Overall, Nelson has all of the tools to be the best run blocker in the NFL and he'll be reliable in pass protection. He's the easiest player to evaluate in this draft class.
Chubb has ideal size, strength and instincts. He primarily lines up with his hand down, but did stand up at times for the Wolfpack. As a pass rusher, he has a good get-off, but he is an outstanding technician with his hands. He wins with rip moves, swipe moves and a powerful bull rush. He can bend and wrap the edge. Chubb's motor never stops. His ability to finish is outstanding and it's reflected in his production. He was asked to drop into coverage some, and while he's serviceable in this capacity, he's best served moving forward, not backward. Against the run, he shocks blockers with his hands. He can locate the ball and close ground quickly. He dominates tight ends. Overall, Chubb has a natural feel as a pass rusher and should be a double-digit sack artist very early in his career.
Ward is an undersized cornerback (5-foot-10, 191 pounds, per school measurements) with excellent quickness, toughness and ball skills. In press coverage, he is patient and he'll catch and re-route before settling on the receivers and mirroring down the field. In off coverage, he is a fluid mover and explodes out of his plant to drive on the football. He is very twitched up. Ward's ball awareness is excellent -- he can locate and high-point the ball down the field. His lack of size does show up on occasion vs. taller opponents, but overall, he plays much bigger than his height. He's very aggressive in run support and has some snap on contact as a tackler. At the end of the day, Ward might lack ideal size, but he is a very skilled player and I love his competitiveness. He reminds me of a young Adam Jones.
Edmunds has a unique blend of size, length and athleticism. He primarily lines up off the line of scrimmage, but does get some work rushing off the edge. Against the run, he is quick to key, fill and finish as a tackler. He has rare lateral range and collects tackles from sideline to sideline. The former Hokie flashes the ability to shoot his hands and play off blocks, but this is one area where he can improve. Against the pass, he easily mirrors running backs and tight ends; there are even examples of him matching up and redirecting vs. slot receivers. He offers tremendous upside as an edge rusher, where he can dip/rip and bend around the edge. Overall, Edmunds has All-Pro ability. His upside is outrageous.
Davenport is a raw edge rusher with outstanding size, length and explosiveness. He aligned in a two-point stance for UTSA but could easily play with his hand in the ground as a 4-3 defensive end at the next level. As a pass rusher, he has a very quick first step and flashes the power to bull through tight ends and offensive tackles. He doesn't always have a game plan and that will lead to him stalling out if he doesn't win early in the down. His ability to bend and wrap around the edge is very impressive for his size. He's a little segmented right now, but once he gets his feet and hands to work together, he will emerge as a double-digit sack artist. In the run game, he dominates tight ends at the point of attack. His effort and speed from the back side is outstanding. Overall, Davenport isn't a finished product, but I'm bullish on his future because of his rare size, athleticism and effort.
James is a versatile talent with exceptional size, speed and physicality. He lined up all over the field for the Seminoles. He took snaps at both safety spots, nickel cornerback, sub-package linebacker and was asked to rush from the outside linebacker position on occasion during his collegiate career. In my opinion, he's more valuable when he plays closer to the line of scrimmage. He excels covering backs and tight ends and is a dynamic blitzer. When he lines up as the deep safety, he lacks ideal anticipation and needs to improve his angles to the alley in run support. He doesn't have a ton of ball production, but that will improve once he settles into a more defined role. When he's aligned in the box, he is quick to key/read against the run; he explodes to and through ball carriers. His lateral range is outstanding and he makes a lot of plays from the back side. To see his game speed, watch him run down Lamar Jackson in the Louisville contest. Overall, I see James as a box safety or weak-side linebacker at the next level.
Smith is an undersized inside linebacker with excellent instincts and range. Against inside runs, he uses his quickness to beat blockers to spots and is a firm, chest-up tackler. He does need to improve his hand usage because once blockers get into him, he struggles to free himself. He's at his best against perimeter runs. Smith brings outstanding recognition and covers ground quickly. I believe he projects best as a 4-3 WLB where he would be able to use his speed to run-and-chase without having to mix it up inside. Against the pass, he has the speed and agility to cover RBs and TEs. He's an excellent blitzer. Smith might lack the ideal bulk, but he's a playmaker against both the run and pass.
Allen has ideal size, arm strength and mobility. At Wyoming, he split time underneath and in the shotgun. He has quick feet in his setup and a smooth, fluid release. He's at his best driving the ball to the outside. He generates outrageous velocity and can squeeze the ball into very tight windows. He must improve on touch throws, but he has shown the ability to change ball speed and throw with loft. He needs to throw with more anticipation and there are times where he really locks onto his initial read, which can lead to pass breakups and turnovers. While he has room to improve on his overall ball placement, there were numerous dropped balls by his receivers in every game I studied. Allen's combination of athleticism and strength allows him to avoid free rushers and shake off tacklers. He's an aggressive runner and he's been effective on designed QB runs as well as scrambles. Allen isn't a finished product, but he offers unlimited upside, provided his drafting team exercises patience.
Vea is a massive defensive tackle prospect with remarkable power, quickness and agility. He's a dominant run defender, routinely resetting the line of scrimmage against both individual blockers and double-teams. He's quick to shoot his hands, latch on and toss opposing blockers before quickly pursuing the football. He has rare lateral range for a 340-pound defender. He also flashes the ability to use his quickness to split gaps and create negative plays. As a pass rusher, he has a nasty slap/swim move. He can roll his hips and generate pocket push with his power. There are times where he plays too tall and consequently gets controlled. That can be improved. Overall, Vea is a more athletic version of Haloti Ngata and should quickly emerge as a Pro Bowl player.
Alexander is a tough, instinctive cornerback prospect. He spent the majority of his time on the outside at Louisville, but he did take a few reps at the nickel spot. He's excellent in press coverage. He consistently re-routes his opponent with a quick two-hand jam. He has a little stiffness when he opens up, but he's rarely out of position underneath or down the field. From off coverage, he has a choppy pedal, but he boasts an excellent burst out of his plant and drive. His route recognition, throw anticipation and ball awareness are elite. He collected several pass breakups in every game I studied. He's very willing in run support and provides some big hits. Overall, Alexander lacks ideal fluidity, but I love his instincts, swagger and ball skills.
Mayfield lacks the ideal height for the quarterback position, but he has a muscled-up/square build similar to Russell Wilson. He operated in the shotgun for the Sooners. He has a unique setup: He's very frenetic, but he's consistently accurate despite throwing from a variety of platforms and arm angles. He generates a lot of torque from his lower body. You need to see him play in person to fully appreciate the way the ball jumps out of his hand. His offensive line did a nice job of keeping him clean at OU, but when pressured, he showed the ability to extend plays while keeping his eyes down the field. He's accurate on the move and while he lacks top speed, he is very effective on designed QB runs. The biggest challenge in his evaluation involves the lack of tight-window throws he's had to make. It will take some time for him to adjust to the lack of space at the next level. There are some questions about his maturity on and off the field. Long story short, Mayfield might lack ideal size, but I love his accuracy, playmaking skills and toughness. He has the tools to be a quality NFL starting quarterback early in his career.
Evans is a versatile, playmaking linebacker. He moved all over the field in the Alabama defense. He aligned off the ball in the middle of the defense, stood up outside and even occasionally put his hand in the ground as a defensive end in pass-rush situations. Against the run, he's a tick late to key/read, but once he makes up his mind, he closes in a hurry. He runs right through blockers and if he doesn't make the tackle, he creates a pileup to slow down the ball carrier. He has outstanding speed to range sideline to sideline. He will miss an occasional tackle in space because he rarely breaks down, instead looking for the big hit. In coverage, he can easily mirror tight ends and backs. He will even match up in the slot at times. He isn't a polished pass rusher, but he can win with pure speed and effort. Overall, Evans is a tone-setter on defense and his versatility is a huge asset.