NFL Mock Draft 2.0: Quarterbacks, Linemen Dominate Round One
Months turned have now turned into days until the 2018 NFL Draft.
The 83rd annual NFL will be held in AT&T Stadium in Arlington, which will be the first time in league history that the draft will be held at a stadium. It will kick off with the first round on Thursday, April 26, and run until Saturday, April 28.
So without further ado, here’s some more draft talk with my latest and final NFL Mock Draft 2.0.
- Cleveland Browns - Sam Darnold (QB, USC)
Josh Allen has the ultimate arm, but definitely not the top quarterback most Cleveland fans want. Tyrod Taylor will take the early reigns at quarterback, as they develop the most NFL ready quarterback in Sam Darnold.
- New York Giants - Saquon Barkley (RB, Penn State)
Eli Manning’s time in New York is yet again safe. And why not? The Giants can land a steal of a quarterback later in the draft, like Mason Rudolph or Luke Falk, if they have any convictions on a quarterback beyond Manning’s time. With this pick, the Giants draft the best available player in the draft.
- New York Jets (from Indianapolis) - Josh Rosen (QB, UCLA)
The Jets traded up for one reason only: to get a quarterback. They showed a lot of love toward Josh Rosen during this offseason, so it’s time for them to draft the Los Angeles quarterback.
- Cleveland (from Houston) - Bradley Chubb (DE, N.C. State)
Cleveland goes with the best pass rusher in the draft in Bradley Chubb to help their defense out. He’s a high-demand athlete, which makes him the choice at No.4. After snagging Darnold and Chubb and still having three draft picks in the second round, Cleveland has a lot to be happy about.
- Buffalo Bills (mock trade with Denver) - Baker Mayfield (QB, Oklahoma)
Fairly easy trade here as the Bills can deal out their two first round picks for Denver’s fifth overall.
Baker on the Bills just rolls off the tongue well and Buffalo has liked what they’ve seen out of Mayfield as of late. I’m on the Mayfield hype train, and so should a lot of people. Some NFL analysts will shame the Bills for not taking Allen at No. 5, but Mayfield’s caliber makes it worth the risk.
- Indianapolis Colts (from New York Jets) - Quenton Nelson (OT, Notre Dame)
Quenton Nelson is by far the best lineman to go into the draft. He will set the tone for this first round being lineman heavy. Nelson is powerful, has broad shoulders and wide hips, which makes him a threat on the line.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Derwin James (S, Florida State)
Derwin James is the best secondary player in the draft, and here Tampa Bay is looking for the best available candidate. James at No. 7 will help the Bucs improve their sub-par pass defense.
- Chicago Bears - Minkah Fitzpatrick (DB, Alabama)
The disparity that the Bears have in the secondary makes Minkah Fitzpatrick a no-brainer draft pick. Chicago needs a lot on defense, and Fitzpatrick is a close second to James in terms of high-caliber secondary men.
- San Francisco 49ers - Roquan Smith (LB, Georgia)
Roquan Smith has speed that is unmatched in the draft. The 49ers need a pass rusher and a hybrid linebacker, so they can steal both with Smith. The Georgia alumnus gets after quarterback and also is a prime run stopper with pass-breakup
- Oakland Raiders - Denzel Ward (DB, Ohio State)
Oakland's top priority in the draft is to get the strongest available secondary player to help the team in its inefficiency in creating turnovers. Defensive back Denzel Ward is a spark plug in terms of athleticism.
- Miami Dolphins - Josh Allen (QB, Wyoming)
No, Josh Allen shouldn’t fall this far back into the draft, but he might. Allen is everything a team wants in terms of a product-type quarterback, but poses the risk of being a bust. Here in Miami, Allen will have the chance to develop under Ryan Tannehill and could work his way into a starting quarterback.
- Denver Broncos (mock trade with Buffalo from Cincinnati) - Tremaine Edmunds (LB, Virginia Tech)
Tremaine Edmunds might be the draft's best linebacker and the Broncos like what he can bring as a pass-rusher. Edmunds can play as a strict pass rusher or hybrid linebacker, and could even be a utility at a hybrid corner.
- Washington Redskins - Vita Vea (DT, Washington)
Vita Vea and the Redskins seem like a perfect match at No. 13. Washington needs a lot on defense and Vea could be their answer as a prime run-stopper.
- Green Bay Packers - Calvin Ridley (WR, Alabama)
Jordy Nelson? Gone. Randall Cobb? He’s going to be a free agent next season. Green Bay isn’t like the Patriots where they love to pick up veteran wide receivers. Instead, they like to groom targets, and here’s someone who might not need a lot of grooming. Calvin Ridley is the NFL’s most sought out receiver and the Packers get a good one here.
- Arizona Cardinals - Marcus Davenport - (DE, UTSA)
Sam Bradford isn't the answer to replace Carson Palmer at quarterback, but the Cardinals remain patient instead. Marcus Davenport is the second-best pass rusher available behind Chubb and the Cardinals could breed him into a tremendous player down the line.
- Baltimore Ravens - Rashaan Evans (LB, Alabama)
Here at No. 16, the Ravens have to settle with one Crimson Tide player over another (Calvin Ridley). Rashaan Evans is a safe pick for this Ravens team and although DJ Moore looks sharp at receiver, they take Evans for some help defensively.
- Los Angeles Chargers - Da’Ron Payne (DT, Alabama)
Da'Ron Payne is what NFL teams want to help stop the run and he will do justice to a team that needs reviving on both the offensive and defensive line.
- Seattle Seahawks - Mike McGlinchey (OT, Notre Dame)
Seattle is begging for some help on their offensive front, and McGlinchey is the stout lineman that the Seahawks need. He wants to be the first tackle selected in the draft and with this pick, he evidently succeeds.
- Dallas Cowboys - DJ Moore (WR, Maryland)
The draft is in Dallas, c’mon, the Cowboys need an EXCITING first round pick. They can’t get Calvin Ridley, nor Da’Ron Payne, since they would be already picked up in this scenario. So in this case, the Cowboys take DJ Moore, a moldable wideout that can play the z-spot as soon as this year.
- Detroit Lions - Taven Bryan, DT, Florida
Taven Bryan has continued to climb up the draft charts and this should be his landing spot. He’s fast off the snap and can help the Lions’ defensive front this season.
- Cincinnati Bengals (from Buffalo) - James Daniels (OT, Iowa)
Here’s a dilemma, the Bengals have had a lot of interest in different tackles, but there’s no telling who they snatch in the first. It could be Ohio State’s Billy Price, UCLA’s Kolton Miller, but I went with Iowa’s James Daniels due to his promising run-blocking capability.
- Denver Broncos (mock trade with Buffalo from Kansas City) - Mike Hughes (CB, UCF)
Mike Hughes continues to hold his underdog persona at corner, but Denver drafting him would be huge here. Losing Aqib Talib means Denver needs some help in the secondary and Hughes will hope to do so.
- New England Patriots (from Los Angeles Rams) - Lamar Jackson (QB, Louisville)
Through private workouts and meetings with the team, the Patriots have shown how much they like Lamar Jackson. New England’s got four picks in the first two rounds, so why not get Jackson early on here?
- Carolina Panthers - Will Hernandez (OG, UTEP)
Here it is, Will Hernandez joins a playoff-hungry team in the Panthers and will hope to make an immediate impact. Hernandez blocking for Christian McCaffrey is a sight everyone will want to see.
- Tennessee Titans - Leighton Vander Esch (ILB, Boise State)
Leighton Vander Esch plays a traditional style of linebacker, with the ability to be a hybrid pass-rusher. Tennessee needs depth defensively, so they take Vander Esch to contribute where he may.
- Atlanta Falcons - Harold Landry (DE, Boston College)
Harold Landry possesses some high-quality talent that can place him at a linebacker spot or on the defensive line. The Falcons want a pass rusher in this one, and Landry can fill that role.
- New Orleans Saints - Orlando Brown (OT, Oklahoma)
New Orleans has some shiny products in running back duo Alvin Kamara and Mark Ingram, so why not give them some help up front? Orlando Brown is a lineman to take a chance on in the first round.
- Pittsburgh Steelers - Maurice Hurst (DT, Michigan)
Maurice Hurst is a hit-or-miss in the first round, which makes Pittsburgh at No. 28 a formidable pick for the hefty run-stopper. The Michigan native’s stock has been highly debated, but he shouldn’t be overlooked at No. 28.
- Jacksonville Jaguars - Christian Kirk (WR, Texas A&M)
Blake Bortles and the offense needs to replace Allen Hurns, and after giving the franchise tag to Allen Robinson, the Jaguars cannot afford a high-profile veteran receiver. Drafting Christian Kirk would be a prime addition for the Jags, especially if they use him as a Z-spot receiver. Kirk is quick on turns and angles, which NFL teams love.
- Minnesota Vikings - Isaiah Wynn (OT/G/C, Georgia)
You can't go wrong getting a versatile lineman like Isaiah Wynn, who literally has done it all on the line at Georgia. It's not often you find a player like Wynn that has been a center, guard and a tackle and been successful. The Vikings can plug him wherever on the line to fill their needs at the offensive front.
- New England Patriots - Josh Jackson (CB, Iowa)
The Patriots fill a much-needed spot at corner with Josh Jackson, who is versatile in the secondary and will do some good work defensively. New England fills their utility spots in the early rounds, and finds its diamonds in the rough in the later rounds of the draft.
- Philadelphia Eagles - Sony Michel (RB, Georgia)
With the loss of LeGarrette Blount in the off-season, the Eagles will likely supplement Jay Ajayi with a young back. Sony Michel has played on the highest stages of football and does impressive work on the ground. He's too good of a pick to pass off by Philadelphia at the last pick in the first round of the draft.