2018 NFL Mock Draft 2.0
1. Cleveland Browns – RB Saquon Barkley, Penn State
Nothing has changed here. Barkley is the best player in the draft, and he’s a perfect fit for the Browns new look offense. They have a quarterback, an offensive line, and receivers, but now they need a dynamic running back. Barkley is the only smart pick here because he’s not lasting until pick four.
2. New York Giants – QB Josh Rosen, UCLA
I think the Giants are hoping the Browns don’t take Saquon Barkley. They can get a couple more years out of Manning, and having a running game would really help him. If the Browns are smart, the Giants will have to go with a backup plan and draft their quarterback of the future. Rosen is considered the best pure passer in the draft and has been compared to Eli Manning several times. He can learn under Manning and then take over in a couple years.
3. Indianapolis Colts – DE Bradley Chubb, N.C. State
This defense ranked 31st in sacks last season (25). That has to be better if the Colts want to improve. Bradley Chubb can step in the building from day one and instantly improve that sack total. The defense improved a little bit toward the end of the season, but there’s still a lot to improve on. Start that by taking the best defensive lineman in the draft.
4. Cleveland Browns – DB Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama
Quarterback will be a popular pick here, but to take a quarterback this high I think the Browns need to love one of these guys. I’m not sold on that. With Tyrod Taylor now in Cleveland, they have a capable quarterback to hold them until they find the guy they love. Fitzpatrick would be a great pick because he could do so much for this defense, which was horrible last season by the way. Play him anywhere and he’ll get the job done.
5. Denver Broncos – G Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame
Now that the Broncos are going to have Case Keenum, they’re going to have to protect him. Quenton Nelson is the best offensive lineman in the draft. He’d give Keenum a lot more time in the pocket to make better throws.
6. New York Jets – QB Josh Allen, Wyoming
This was a possible destination for Kirk Cousins, but it looks like the Vikings are in the driver seat now after offering him $84 Million over 3 years. They have to take care of their quarterback problem. Josh Allen had a great combine performance showing teams what he can do as a quarterback. He’s got a big arm and his accuracy was exactly what everyone wanted to see.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – S Derwin James, Florida State
One of the major needs this Bucs team has is in the secondary. They also need a running back and a defensive end, but I think they could get a running back early in the second round and I don’t like the value of any defensive ends at this pick. Derwin James is the best secondary player available right now. While corner may be more pressing than safety, a player like Derwin James doesn’t come along every day. They can’t let him get away.
8. Chicago Bears – CB Denzel Ward, Ohio State
Using the transition tag on Kyle Fuller helps them in the CB department, but they need more. Just like in my last mock draft, WR is a popular pick here, but the Bears have agreed to a contract with Allen Robinson. Denzel Ward is a speedster who can keep up with just about any receiver. This defense needs more cover men like Ward.
9. San Francisco 49ers – LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech
I think San Francisco’s best bet is to take whoever they think is best. This may not be a pressing need, but it will be hard to pass him up. Edmunds is a very young player with a lot of potential. Plug him in right away and he’ll make them better.
10. Oakland Raiders – LB Roquan Smith, Georgia
Same pick as last time here. The Raiders need an upgrade at the LB position and Smith is the best on the board. Almost every mock draft I’ve seen has Smith going at this spot.
11. Miami Dolphins – QB Sam Darnold, USC
It may be a bit of a surprise if Darnold falls to this spot. Honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me if he did. He may be considered one of the best in the draft, but teams have to have a concern about his turnovers. That could make him fall. The Dolphins could be in the market for a new quarterback, and one team is going to overlook the turnovers for his potential.
12. Buffalo Bills – QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
I love this trade up to pick 12 by the Bills. They traded away their starting quarterback and they knew they had to do something to get a new one. Sitting at picks 21 and 22 wouldn’t have worked for them to get who they want. I’m not 100% certain Mayfield is the quarterback they want, but his play and potential more than justify taking him here. Go get your future signal caller!
13. Washington Redskins – WR Calvin Ridley, Alabama
Washington has a couple receivers who could be on their way out in free agency. If they don’t fill those spots, they need to get one of the top receivers in the draft. Ridley could be a dangerous weapon for the Redskins and Alex Smith.
14. Green Bay Packers – CB Josh Jackson, Iowa
After trading Damarious Randall, the Green Bay Packers should be looking for a new corner. Jackson is a ball hawk. He seems to know where the ball is at all times. Pairing Jackson with their young corner Kevin King will give them a corner back combo teams could fear in a couple years.
15. Arizona Cardinals – QB Lamar Jackson, Louisville
I saw a video the other day of Chris Simms saying Lamar Jackson is the best quarterback in this draft class. Jackson has also been compared to Michael Vick. Jackson does have his issues, but if he has Michael Vick potential I don’t have trouble seeing him as the top quarterback. The Cardinals need a quarterback, and waiting any longer in the draft probably won’t get them one they truly like.
16. Baltimore Ravens – WR Courtland Sutton, SMU
Baltimore desperately needs an upgrade at the receiver position. Sutton has the talent to be a number one receiver. This offense needs to get better for the Ravens to compete. Joe Flacco is probably begging for a new weapon, so the Ravens go and get him one.
17. Los Angeles Chargers – DT Vita Vea, Washington
The Chargers have the edge rushing down, but what they need is someone to eat up the middle while Bosa and Ingram are wreaking havoc on the edge. Could you imagine what their defensive line would be like with Vea plugging up the middle?
18. Seattle Seahawks – DE Marcus Davenport, UTSA
There’s a lot of different ways the Seahawks could go here. Offensive line, receiver, corner, and defensive end are just a few needs. With Richard Sherman and Michael Bennett now gone, corner and defensive end will be two highly considered picks. Marcus Davenport has potential to fill Bennett’s spot on the defensive line.
19. Dallas Cowboys – DT Da’Ron Payne, Alabama
Payne is still my pick here. Dallas improved their defensive line last season, but they were missing a real presence in the middle. Da’Ron Payne is a disruptive player inside. He may not get a lot of sacks, but he would easily open things up for the likes of Demarcus Lawrence.
20. Detroit Lions – RB Derrius Guice, LSU
I know there are other areas the Lions could go, but I still think they need to upgrade the running back position. Their running game has to get better if they want to be serious about contending. Guice can instantly improve the Lions run game. He can have the same impact of a Leonard Fournette last season.
21. Cincinnati Bengals – OG Will Hernandez, UTEP
Cincinnati traded back in the draft, which some people may not like, but they did pick up a quality starting left tackle. The rest of their offensive line could improve also. Picking Hernandez would upgrade their line once again, giving Andy Dalton some much needed time in the pocket and create room for the running backs.
22. Buffalo Bills – C Billy Price, Ohio State
Buffalo got their quarterback, and now they need to upgrade their offensive line. Center is a top priority on the line, and Billy Price is the best available. He is recovering from an injury, but he shouldn’t be out for long. He’s a first round talent.
23. Los Angeles Rams – LB Harold Landry, Boston College
After trading for Marcus Peters and Aqib Talib, the Rams are set at corner. They traded away Alec Ogletree, so they should be in the market for a young playmaking linebacker. Harold Landry can be a difference maker rushing the passer. With Peters and Talib in coverage, his pass rush ability would be huge.
24. Carolina Panthers – OT Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame
Same pick as my last draft for the Panthers. The offensive line needs to improve. Cam needs protection and the running game can get better. McGlinchey had a good combine that likely cemented his first round status.
25. Tennessee Titans – DT Maurice Hurst, Michigan
Hurst may be a bit of a risk because of his heart condition, but his talent can’t be denied. It was made known that his heart condition was known about at Michigan, and it didn’t stop him from playing then. If Hurst is cleared to play and he stays healthy, this could be a steal at pick 25.
26. Atlanta Falcons – DT Taven Bryan, Florida
Being compared to J.J. Watt is a pretty good way to get drafted in the first round. He had a great combine and showed his athletic ability. He may need time to fully develop, but his potential is sky high and the Falcons will likely be looking for a new DT.
27. New Orleans Saints – TE Mark Andrews, Oklahoma
Drew Brees is coming back, so I’m going to skip over a quarterback here. They would be reaching for a quarterback here anyway. Brees needs some better pass catchers, especially at the TE position. Andrews is a big tight end who can move well and has good athletic skills.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers – LB Rashaan Evans, Alabama
Linebacker is still a need for the Steelers. As I said in my last mock draft, Evans feels like a Steelers draft pick to me. An Alabama player who’s well coached should be able to make an impact right away.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars – WR D.J. Moore, Maryland
I had James Washington in this spot previously, but D.J. Moore had a great combine that significantly boosted his stock. He seems like a more dynamic receiver than James Washington, who has been criticized for his lack of route running. Unless they take care of their receiver needs in free agency, the Jaguars will be on the hunt for a new weapon for Bortles.
30. Minnesota Vikings – OT Kolton Miller, UCLA
Kolton Miller was one of my combine winners because he had a great workout. He boosted his stock into the first round. Minnesota took care of their quarterback need by signing Kirk Cousins in free agency. Now that they have Cousins at quarterback they’ll need to give him some protection. Kolton Miller can man a tackle spot for years to come.
31. New England Patriots – CB Jaire Alexander, Louisville
Unless they sign someone in free agency, the Patriots will need a corner to replace Malcolm Butler. Jaire Alexander had a really good combine workout, which was huge for him after dealing with some injuries this past season. The Patriots could use a corner with his skill set.
32. Philadelphia Eagles – WR D.J. Chark, LSU
With the departure of Torrey Smith, the Eagles could be in the market for a replacement. Chark is rising up draft boards after a huge combine performance. He’s a big receiver with a lot of speed. Carson Wentz would love to have this guy.