Hard to believe this is my first mock draft of the season. Hey, at least there is one week to go.
Sorry for the primitive format, but I am doing this mock on my smart phone from work.
Thanks to http://www.tankathon.com for the draft order.
1. Cleveland Browns – QB Sam Darnold, USC. This could be Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen or Josh Allen. We only certainty is Cleveland cannot pass on another quarterback after winning one of its last 31 games and trading picks that became Carson Wentz and Deshaun Watson.
2. New York Giants – QB Josh Rosen, UCLA. I think Eli Manning still has something left in the tank, but with a new regime in town this would be the perfect opportunity for the franchise to turn the page. Josh Rosen may have some kinks to work out between the ears, but as far as natural football ability, he is the complete package.
3. Indianapolis Colts – OT Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame. It is obvious that the Colts are lost without Andrew Luck. Hopefully he can get back on the football field, and with a decent offensive line to protect him. Mike McGlinchey maynot be Joe Thomas, but he is a plus athlete and very sound technician who should immediately improve the line as a whole.
4. Cleveland Browns (from Texans) – DE Bradley Chubb, NC State. After drafting a quarterback, Cleveland should go best player available at every turn. Bradley Chubb is the best overall pass rusher in this class and should form a great end combination with Myles Garrett.
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – FS Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama. Safeties are being drafted higher than ever, because they are asked to do more than before. Minkah Fitzpatrick gathered plenty of post season awards and is a top ten lock. He would be a huge upgrade at any spot in the Tampa Bay secondary.
6. Denver Broncos – QB Josh Allen, Wyoming. Josh Allen is far from a sure thing but the pure talent of an upper echelon starter is there. The Broncos have fallen apart thanks to miserable quarterback play and John Elway is not one to stand idly by. With proper coaching, Allen could be a good one.
7. New York Jets – HB Saquon Barkley, Jets. I do not think a running back is on the top of New York’s a wish list, but Saquon Barkley is too talented to pass up here. Scouts are not overly concerned with his down junior season, mostly because he was able to avoid some carries and hits. He is the complete package and should be able to be the centerpiece of the Jets offense.
8. San Francisco 49ers – OG Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame. Although a small sample size, San Francisco seems to have found its answer at quarterback. Building an offensive line should be a high priority. Quenton Nelson is the best guard prospect in years and could handle tackle if needed.
9. Chicago Bears – FS Derwin James, Florida State. Top prospect Derwin James played relatively well, considering how terrible the Seminoles were this year. With good workouts expected, the run defensive specialist should find his way into the top ten. The Bears have a terrible secondary and need upgrades throughout.
10. Cincinnati Bengals – OT Connor Williams, Texas. Long time head coach Marvin Lewis will most likely move on, So this team could look much different this year. One area that must be addressed is the offensive line. Connor Williams has the look of a long time starter, and his presence could allow the talented skill players time to make plays.
11. Oakland Raiders – DT Christian Wilkins, Clemson. The Raiders are proof of how fickle NFL success can be. If Oakland can retool it’s defense it should be back on track next year. Christian Wilkins reminds me of a poor mans Gerald McCoy. Wilkins is solid in all facets of the game, and while he may never be a Pro Bowler, he should be a long time starter.
12. Miami Dolphins – MLB Roquan Smith, Georgia. Roquan Smith is a modern middle linebacker prototype. Quick, strong and rangy, he can cover and chase down a ball carrier. Miami cycled through a ton of linebackers but could not find a combination that worked. Adding Smith and Raekwon McMillan to the team in 2018 would be huge.
13. Arizona Cardinals – QB Lamar Jackson, Louisville. Lamar Jackson is who he is at this point. Some scouts love him and some scouts hate him. But it will only take one minute to make him a first round pick. Arizona needs to transition to life after Carson Palmer, and Bruce Arians runs an offense that should tailor to Jackson’s strengths.
14. Washington Redskins – HB Derrius Guice, LSU. The Redskins have several decent running backs on the roster, but none that can carry an offense like Guice. After a few early nagging injuries, Guice is back on track as a rock solid first round pick.
15. Green Bay Packers – OT Orlando Brown, Oklahoma. The Packers will obviously only go as far as Aaron Rodgers takes them, and with the MVP reaching his mid-30s the team has got to do a better job of protecting him. Orlando Brown is a load of a man who may be better suited for guard or right tackle, but has improved his pass rushing technique and will be a plus starter on that side of the line.
16. Los Angeles Chargers – CB Josh Jackson, Iowa. Los Angeles has a pretty solid roster from top to bottom out without many glaring needs. Every team could use a big, physical corner such as Josh Jackson. Defense of backs often arise throughout the pre-draft process, but Jackson looks like the best of the bunch right now, thanks to his imposing physical stature and advanced ball skills.
17. Buffalo Bills – QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma. The quarterback of the future is not currently on buffaloes roster, and with two first round picks they can afford to gamble on the Heisman Trophy winner here. Baker Mayfield is undersized but has simply worked his way into serious first round consideration. Mayfield is an accurate play maker who commands the respect of his huddle, and could help Turn around this long suffering franchise.
18. Detroit Lions – DE Clelin Ferrell, Clemson. I am surprised Clelin Ferrell is still on the board, and should be a no-brainer selection for Detroit team that desperately needs pass rushing help. Ferrell Is a Prototypical 4–3 defensive end who can get after the quarterback in a strong enough to hold his own against the run.
19. Dallas Cowboys – DT Vita Vea, Washington. Dallas needs to continue adding talent all up and down the defense, and should use this selection on the side of the ball. Vita Vea Is a monsterous presence who plays quicker than his size would indicate. Even as big as he is, he can occasionally be pushed around and has some areas to clean up, but has the ability to be one of the better all-around defensive tackles in the NFL.
20. Seattle Seahawks – WR Courtland Sutton, SMU. Wide receiver is not the biggest need in Seattle, but Cortland Sutton is probably the best prospect available. Wide receiver is not the biggest need in Seattle, but Courtland Sutton is probably the best prospect available. He might not be athletic enough to be a top 10 pick, but he has good hands and great size and should be a solid red zone threat for Russell Wilson and the Seahawks.
21. Tennessee Titans – EDGE Arden Key, LSU. Arden Key went from a productive undersize sophomore to a bigger, stronger Junior who did not generate for sack numbers he had The previous season. The talent is still there for him to become a solid all around defense of player, and he would make a nice replacement for Derrick Morgan or Brian Orakpo Down the line in Tennessee.
22. Baltimore Ravens – EDGE Harold Landry, Boston College. Harold Landry may only be a situational pass rusher at the next level, but what he does he does very well. It will take a group effort to replace Terrell Suggs in Baltimore, and adding Landry would be a good start.
23. Atlanta Falcons – WR Calvin Ridley, Alabama. Receiver is not the biggest need in Atlanta, but there simply is not a player available that fills a huge need for the Falcons. And many consider Calvin ridley to be the top receiver in a down 2018 class. He may not have the pure talent of former Alabama receiver Julio Jones, but he should make a very steady number two possession type.
24. New Orleans Saints – MLB Malik Jefferson, Texas. New Orleans has been trying to build a competent linebacker group for years, with little success. Malik Jefferson has lived up to his high school billing as a junior, becoming a complete play maker at the linebacker position. He should fit right in with an attacking Saints defense.
25. Buffalo Bills (from Chiefs) – TE Mark Andrews, Oklahoma. The Buffalo Bills have worked hard to add skill position players to the offense, and here they add new draft pick Baker Mayfield’s favorite receiving target and Mark Andrews. Andrews is not the athletic freak that the 2017 first round tight ends were, but he is a very steady presents with good hands and solid blocking in receiving skills.
26. Jacksonville Jaguars – FS Ronnie Harrison, Alabama. The Alabama secondary is always loaded and that means some players fly under the radar. While not as recognized as some of his teammates, Ronnie Harrison is a solid first round prospect in his own right. He has some work to do against coverage, but stops the run well andhits like a linebacker. He will add even more physicality to agreat up-and-coming Jacksonville Jaguars defense.
27. Los Angeles Rams – CB Denzel Ward, Ohio State. What a difference good coaching makes. But suddenly dangerous Rams still do need talent all along their defense, and go with an eventual Trumaine Johnson replacement here in Denzel Ward. Ward has everything you look for in a corner back except size, which is why he is available here.
28. Carolina Panthers – OT Chukwuma Okorafor, Western Michigan. The Panthers offense of line has played well this season, but still needs a talent upgrade. Chukwuma Okorafor Is not flashy, but has a load of experience and should settling in quite nicely on the right side of Carolina’s offensive line.
29. Pittsburgh Steelers – QB Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State. Six quarterbacks in the first round? Well, have you seen the quarterback play this year? Unlike the others, Mason Rudolph will be able to learn behind one of the better quarterbacks in the league. Ben Roethlisberger could fall apart at any time, so having a contingency plan makes sense. Rudolph has the size and arm strength, but needs to work on accuracy and the fine points of the game. If he is able to sit for a year or two, he could come in and keep the Steelers rolling.
30. Minnesota Vikings – OT Mitch Hyatt, Clemson. Well the Vikings offensive line has played admirably, it is still not talented enough. Mitch Hyatt may not be big or strong enough to play left tackle, but should be an asset on the right side or even at garden.
31. New England Patriots – HB Bryce Love, Stanford. This would not be a typical New England pick and probably will not happen, but could you imagine Bryce love in the Patriots passing attack? That would make a very dangerous offense next to impossible to stop.
32. Philadelphia Eagles – CB Isaiah Oliver, Colorado. As you would expect from the best team record wise in the NFL, Philadelphia does not have a lot of holes. The cornerback group could use a little more depth, even with Sidney Jones returning from injury. Isaiah Oliver is experienced, and has Prototypical size for the position.