2018 NFL Draft Grades: Round 1

What a wild 1st Round that was last night. We knew it was going to be unpredictable, but I don’t think anybody realized exactly what that would result in.

Personally, I expected a few trades to occur very early on. However, the first trade didn’t happen until the Bills moved up to #7. After that, all hell broke loose.

Some highly rated prospects fell. Some lower rated prospects were reached for. For the first time in modern era Draft history, four QBs were taken in the Top-10. For the first time since 2011, no wide receivers were taken in the Top-20. And I have no official stat, but it sure seemed like one of the largest numbers of offensive linemen drafted in the 1st Round.

It was a very fascinating start to the 2018 NFL Draft, and I have no shame in admitting that I was very wrong in my predictions. With that, here are my grades for each team in the 1st Round of this year’s Draft.

 

Cleveland Browns

Pick 1.1 – QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma

Pick 1.4 – CB Denzel Ward, Ohio State

Grade: B

The Browns got their quarterback and an impact defender. That’s what they needed to have with these picks. But they get a B from me because I don’t think either is the player they should have taken. Mayfield could be a star, but he could also be a complete bust. That’s not a #1 overall pick. And Ward is the best corner in this class, but Bradley Chubb should be more an impact player. The Browns have a chance to do really well in this Draft with three 2nd Round picks tonight.

 

New York Giants

Pick 1.2 – RB Saquon Barkley, Penn State

Grade: A-

Saquon Barkley is my top player in this class, so I have no issue with the Giants taking a running back this high. They likely won’t pick this high again for a while, so they missed out on a chance to grab their QB for the future, but I think GM Dave Gettleman thinks this team can compete for a playoff berth as currently constructed, so adding Barkley to an offense with Odell Beckham Jr. is a great move.

 

New York Jets

Pick 1.3 – QB Sam Darnold, USC

Grade: B+

The Jets traded three 2nd Round picks to move up here and get their quarterback. I don’t know if they realized that Darnold would be available here, but they pounced, and they were smart to do it. I prefer Rosen as a prospect, which is why they only get a B+ from me. But I do think Darnold over Allen was the right move. Darnold probably has the safest floor of the QBs in this class, but his ceiling also isn’t quite as high as some of the others. He enters a good situation in New York.

 

Denver Broncos

Pick 1.5 – EDGE Bradley Chubb, NC State

Grade: C

This is not a knock on Chubb as a prospect, as I believe he is the top defensive player in this class. This grade is more based on team needs. The Broncos had an awful year, and have needs all over the field, including in the secondary, offensive line, and quarterback. There were great players to be had at all of those positions. Chubb and Von Miller will form a fantastic pass rushing duo, but the Broncos had a real chance to fill a need and get a great player at the same time, which teams rarely have a chance to do, and they whiffed.

 

Indianapolis Colts

Pick 1.6 – OG Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame

Grade: A

The Colts have needs at every position that’s not quarterback (assuming Andrew Luck is healthy), and they got my 2nd best player in this entire class. Priority number one should be to protect Luck, and Nelson is a potential Hall of Famer at guard. The Colts have three 2nd Round picks tonight, so they can address needs on defense with at least two of those picks. So far, so great for the Colts.

 

Buffalo Bills

TRADE – BUF receives Picks 1.7, 7.255; TB receives Picks 1.12, 2.53, 2.56

Pick 1.7 – QB Josh Allen, Wyoming

TRADE – BUF receives Picks 1.16, 5.154; BAL receives Picks 1.22, 3.65

Pick 1.16 – LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech

Grade: C+

Everybody knew the Bills were looking to move up to get a quarterback. However, to give up two 2nd Round picks to go up just five spots is a hefty price, and I’m not sure if Allen is going to be a successful NFL QB. They then moved up again to grab the slipping Edmunds, and while he will help them, they gave up another premium pick, this time a 3rd Rounder. They now have just one pick tonight, near the end of the 3rd Round, and they have a lot of holes on their roster. They get a QB and a good linebacker, but gave up too much in my opinion.

 

Chicago Bears

Pick 1.8 – LB Roquan Smith, Georgia

Grade: A-

I think the Bears were hoping that Quenton Nelson would fall to them, but they got a great consolation prize in Smith. Whether he plays inside or outside, he could be the next in a long lineage of star linebackers to play for the Bears. Linebacker might not have been the most glaring need for the Bears, but this value was too good to pass up.

 

San Francisco 49ers

Pick 1.9 – OT Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame

Grade: B

It’s clear with this pick that John Lynch’s #1 priority is to protect Jimmy Garoppolo, and he got the best tackle prospect in this class to help do that. McGlinchey will start at right tackle from the get-go, and could eventually move to left tackle. That’s exactly what the 49ers need. The value wasn’t great, as this is a weak offensive tackle class, so that’s why it gets a B grade from me.

 

Arizona Cardinals

TRADE – ARZ receives Pick 1.10; OAK receives Picks 1.15, 3.79, 5.152

Pick 1.10 – QB Josh Rosen, UCLA

Grade: A

This was a fantastic move by the Cardinals. They needed a QB of the future, and they got my top QB prospect in this class. And do do it, all they had to give up was a 3rd and a 5th. They hand onto their 2nd Rounder and get a potential star quarterback. That’s an A grade if I’ve ever seen one. I think Rosen’s “off-field issues” won’t be a problem down in Arizona.

 

Miami Dolphins

Pick 1.11 – S/CB Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama

Grade: A-

Fitzpatrick was a Top-5 prospect in this class for many evaluators, so the Dolphins got tremendous value snagging him at #11. With the Top-4 quarterbacks off the board, the Fins were smart to not reach for Lamar Jackson or Mason Rudolph, and rather draft a much needed impact player for the back end of their defense.

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

TRADE – TB receives Picks 1.12, 2.53, 2.56; BUF receives Picks 1.7, 7.255

Pick 1.12 – DT Vita Vea, Washington

Grade: B+

I think the Bucs did really great in trading down with the Bills, picking up two 2nd Round picks to go back just five spots. I also think that Vea will be a very good pro player. However, I think the Bucs have much more pressing needs, and there were better players available (Tremaine Edmunds and Derwin James to name a couple). That is why they get a B+ and not an A or A- from me.

 

Washington Redskins

Pick 1.13 – DT Da’Ron Payne, Alabama

Grade: B-

As far as filling needs goes, this is a great pick for Washington. Payne is a five-technique that can play inside or on the edge, and he’s arguably the best run-stopper in this draft class. However, I think this was a slight reach, which is why it gets the lower grade. I saw some mocks that had Payne falling to the 2nd Round. He’s sort of one-dimensional as a tackle, not showing much of an ability to rush the passer.

 

New Orleans Saints

TRADE – NO receives Pick 1.14; GB receives Picks 1.27, 5.147; 2019 1st Rd

Pick 1.14 – EDGE Marcus Davenport, UTSA

Grade: F

I debated whether or not I wanted to be this harsh, but this trade/pick combination makes no sense to me. If they would have made this exact trade and taken Lamar Jackson, as everybody expected when they made the move, they would have gotten an A from me. Davenport could be a great pass rusher in this league, but the key words there are “could be.” He’s a project, and to trade a future 1st Round pick to move up and take a project, for a team that is a Super Bowl contender, just seems ass backwards to me.

 

Oakland Raiders

TRADE – OAK receives Picks 1.15, 3.79, 5.152; ARZ receives Pick 1.10

Pick 1.15 – OT Kolton Miller, UCLA

TRADE – OAK receives WR Martavis Bryant; PIT receives Pick 3.79

Grade: B-

I decided to include the trade for Martavis Bryant when grading the Raiders because they used the 3rd Round pick they got in the trade with Arizona to acquire him. I love the trade for Bryant. He gives the Raiders one of the most fearsome WR corps in the league. I don’t love the Miller pick. He was a reach at this point, and there were a lot of impact defensive players available that they could have had. It’s clear with these moves that Jon Gruden is running the show.

 

Los Angeles Chargers

Pick 1.17 – S Derwin James, Florida State

Grade: A

This is who the Raiders should have taken. If you told the Chargers that they’d have the opportunity to draft Derwin James without moving up, they probably would have called you crazy. But here we are. James has been compared to Kam Chancellor, but faster. That is the exact type of player the Chargers’ defense needs. As a Raiders fan, it sucks to say it, but the Chargers were probably my biggest winner of the 1st Round.

 

Green Bay Packers

TRADE – GB receives Picks 1.27, 5.147, 2019 1st Rd; NO receives Pick 1.14

TRADE – GB receives Picks 1.18, 7.248; SEA receives Picks 1.27, 3.76, 6.186

Pick 1.18 – CB Jaire Alexander, Louisville

Grade: B+

The Packers were one of the most active teams on Thursday night, first moving back from 14 to 27, then moving back up from 27 to 18 to get one of the top cornerbacks in this class in Alexander, who had been flying up draft boards due to his speed and ball skills. Through two trades, the Packers basically gave up a 3rd and a 6th and moved back four spots in the 1st Round to get a 5th this year, a 1st next year (which is huge) and still got the player they probably would have taken at 14. I still think it’s a slight reach for Alexander at 18, so that is why they only get a B+. Despite that, it was still a fantastic first night for Green Bay.

 

Dallas Cowboys

Pick 1.19 – LB Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State

Grade: B-

The Cowboys had a chance to get the wide receiver of their choosing with this pick, which they need badly, but they instead chose to take the eventual successor to Sean Lee in Vander Esch. Some teams were scared by some neck issues, and the fact that he only really had one productive season at Boise, but he can play inside or outside and is a fierce competitor. I like the pick, just think they should have gone receiver instead.

 

Detroit Lions

Pick 1.20 – C Frank Ragnow, Arkansas

Grade: B-

I expected the Lions to take an offensive lineman here, I just didn’t think it would be Ragnow. He is a good player, but he was expected to last until the 2nd Round, so it was a reach. It does fill a need though, so I won’t downgrade this move too much. He’ll help their run game immensely.

 

Cincinnati Bengals

Pick 1.21 – C Billy Price, Ohio State

Grade: B

Back to back centers in the 1st Round, that may be a Draft first. The Bengals have needs across their offensive line, so this pick makes a lot of sense. Price tore his bicep at the Combine, and many expected that to affect his draft stock, but he actually went just as high as he might have prior to the injury.

 

Tennessee Titans

TRADE – TEN receives Picks 1.22, 6.215; BAL receives Picks 1.25, 4.125

Pick 1.22 – LB Rashaan Evans, Alabama

Grade: B+

The Titans move back from the 4th Round to the 6th Round in order to move up three spots and get one of the top linebackers in this class. The label of “Alabama Linebacker” is enough to scare anyone given their recent track record, but Evans is a clean prospect, and he’s probably the best pure inside linebacker in this class. He’s a thumper, and he adds a necessary punch to the middle of the Tennessee defense.

 

New England Patriots

Pick 1.23 – OG/OT Isaiah Wynn, Georgia

Pick 1.31 – RB Sony Michel, Georgia

Grade: B+

I hate giving the Patriots credit, but they did a really good job with their two 1st Round picks, landing the pair of roommates from Georgia. Wynn projects best as a guard, but the Pats have taken guys with similar measurables and skill sets and turned them into good tackles. Meanwhile, they lost Dion Lewis to the Titans, so they replace him with a better version of the same player in Michel. If he can stay healthy, he’ll be one of the most electrifying players from this class.

 

Carolina Panthers

Pick 1.24 – WR D.J. Moore, Maryland

Grade: C-

The Panthers have a lot of needs for a team picking this high. They could use some depth at pass rusher, or they could have taken a linebacker as insurance for the oft-injured Luke Kuechly. I expected them to solidify their back end with a corner or safety. Wide receiver was a need as well, but to take Moore over Calvin Ridley is a mistake in my mind. Maybe I’m wrong, but I think Ridley would have been much better opposite Devin Funchess.

 

Baltimore Ravens

TRADE – BAL receives Picks 1.22, 3.65; BUF receives Picks 1.16, 5.154

TRADE – BAL receives Picks 1.25, 4.125; TEN receives Picks 1.22, 6.215

Pick 1.25 – TE Hayden Hurst, South Carolina

TRADE – BAL receives Picks 1.32, 4.132; PHI receives Picks 2.52, 4.125, 2019 2nd Rd

Pick 1.32 – QB Lamar Jackson, Louisville

Grade: A

What a start to this draft for the Ravens, and I don’t think anybody saw it coming. They traded back twice, going from 16 to 25, picking up 3rd and 4th Round picks in the process. They then took one of the most talented tight ends in this draft class. After that, they had an opportunity to move back into the 1st Round and land one of the most polarizing QB prospects in recent memory. Joe Flacco has no more guaranteed money after this season, so they can groom Lamar Jackson and turn the reins over to him in 2019. A fantastic 1st Round for Baltimore.

 

Atlanta Falcons

Pick 1.26 – WR Calvin Ridley, Alabama

Grade: A

I can’t give out an A+, because to me, that means perfect, and I don’t think anybody had the perfect day on Thursday. The Falcons might have been the closest to an A+ though. For Calvin Ridley to fall into their laps is bonkers to me. I expected the Falcons to consider going WR with this pick, but I didn’t think there’d be any way Ridley would be available. They now have a tremendous 1-2 punch at the receiver position with Julio Jones and Ridley.

 

Seattle Seahawks

TRADE – SEA receives Picks 1.27, 3.76, 6.186; GB receives Picks 1.18, 7.248

Pick 1.27 – RB Rashaad Penny, San Diego State

Grade: D+

This is nothing against the player whatsoever. I like Penny and I think he can be a very productive running back in the NFL. I think he’ll help on special teams a bunch from the get-go as well. This gets such a low grade because they probably could have had him in the 3rd Round. I have no problem with taking a potentially transcendent running back in the 1st Round, like Saquon Barkley. Penny is not Barkley, and the Seahawks could have done so much else with this pick.

 

Pittsburgh Steelers

Pick 1.28 – S Terrell Edmunds, Virginia Tech

Grade: C

I don’t want to knock this too much because seeing Ryan Shazier walk out on stage to announce this pick was just awesome. I hope he can fully recover one day and possibly even play football again. But when you look at the actual pick, it’s a mistake to me. They need a safety badly, and they filled that need, but there were about five or six other safeties available that are better prospects than Edmunds. Trumaine and Terrell are the first pair of brothers to be taken in the same 1st Round of the Draft, so that’s pretty cool I guess.

 

Jacksonville Jaguars

Pick 1.29 – DT Taven Bryan, Florida

Grade: B-

I really thought the Jags would take Lamar Jackson and develop him for a year behind Blake Bortles. That would have gotten a much higher grade from me. I like Bryan a lot. He’s raw and he’s still learning the position, but he’s got all the measurables and potential. I just don’t think defensive tackle was a major need for this team. They would have been better off taking one of the many offensive linemen that are still available.

 

Minnesota Vikings

Pick 1.30 – CB Mike Hughes, UCF

Grade: B

This is another team that I thought should have addressed the offensive line with this pick, especially with guys like Will Hernandez, Tyrell Crosby, James Daniels and Connor Williams still on the board. But instead they looked at their secondary, saw the aging Terence Newman, and decided to take his replacement in Hughes. Like Newman, Hughes is a little undersized, but he should be effective in the slot from day one and eventually join Xavier Rhodes on the outside with some development.

 

Philadelphia Eagles

TRADE – PHI receives Picks 2.52, 4.125, 2019 2nd Rd; BAL receives Picks 1.32, 4.132

Grade: A-

The rich get richer. Dropping 20 spots seems like a lot, but I tend to think that most of the prospects that will go in the 2nd Round are rated very close together, so they’ll still get a very good player with the 52nd overall pick. To pick up a 2nd Rounder next year to make that move is huge.

 

Teams Without a Pick Yesterday:

Kansas City Chiefs (traded to Buffalo)

Houston Texans (traded to Cleveland)

Los Angeles Rams (traded to New England)

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2018 NFL Mock Draft – Version 2.0

It’s Thursday April 26th, and that means it’s time for the 2018 NFL Draft! This may be the most unpredictable draft in recent memory.

Usually by this point, we have a pretty good idea how the Top-5, or at the very least, the Top-3, is going to shake down. However, this year, nothing is set in stone. Most reports coming out of Cleveland over the last week have said that they were deciding between Sam Darnold and Josh Allen for the #1 pick. But waking up this morning, the news is that many in the league believe that Baker Mayfield will be the 1st pick.

Lots of teams want to trade down, and lots of teams are exploring a trade up. That should make for a very exciting 1st Round.

Yesterday I gave you my personal mock draft, and now today, leading into the Draft tonight at 8:00, I give you Version 2.0 of We Love Sportz’s 2018 NFL Mock Draft.

For this mock, my good friend Jeff Greco and I went back and forth, putting ourselves in the shoes of these teams’ GMs, saying what we would do with the picks if we were them. Sidebar: Follow Jeff on Twitter @Uncle_Pony for some good sports takes and some better memes.

Jeff took the odds, I took the evens. We also negotiated a couple trades. With the trades, Jeff picked for odd teams that ended up with an even-numbered pick by way of trade, and vice-versa.

And with that, here is Jeff and Jay’s 2018 NFL Mock Draft!

 

1 – Cleveland Browns

Pick: RB Saquon Barkley, Penn State

Jeff – The Browns have a chance to get a legitimate workhorse running back AND a potential franchise quarterback with their first two picks. There’s no way I’m not taking Barkley, who in the minds of some is a better prospect than Ezekiel Elliott. Plus he doesn’t wear that awful belly jersey.

 

2 – New York Giants

Pick: QB Sam Darnold, USC

Jay – I don’t think there’s any way the Browns don’t take a QB at #1, even though I agree with Jeff that they should take Barkley. This scenario would play out the same if the Browns take Josh Allen or Baker Mayfield. I don’t see the Giants passing on Darnold if he’s available. He’d be a great heir apparent to Eli Manning.

 

3 – New York Jets (from Indianapolis)

Pick: QB Josh Allen, Wyoming

Jeff – I think Allen has the second best skill set of this year’s rookie class. He can have some time to learn and develop behind Teddy Bridgewater and hopefully the Jets can come out on the other side with their best QB since Pennington. Plus this website exists.

 

4 – Cleveland Browns (from Houston)

Pick: QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma

Jayson – After landing Barkley at #1, I have my choice between Josh Rosen and Baker Mayfield. While I think Rosen is the better prospect, I’m not sure that his style will play well in Cleveland. Enter Baker Mayfield, who has the swagger necessary to succeed in the NFL, but he could wind up being Johnny Manziel 2.0.

 

5 – Denver Broncos

Pick: OG Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame

Jeff – Nelson is the next best available prospect and it just so happens that he fits right into what the Broncos need to bolster their offensive line. They allowed 52 sacks last year (3.25/game, 31st in the NFL) and really need to protect their quarterback, whoever it may end up being this year.

 

6 – Indianapolis Colts (from NY Jets)

Pick: EDGE Bradley Chubb, NC State

Jayson – It’s pretty simple for the Colts here. They’ll try to move back, but their consolation prize is the best defensive player in this draft class. He’s not rated as highly as Myles Garrett was last year, but if it wasn’t for the number of top QBs in this class, he’d be a surefire Top-3 pick.

 

7 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Pick: S Derwin James, Florida State

Jeff – If Nelson doesn’t drop this far, Tampa Bay needs help in their secondary. They allowed 260 passing yards per game (32nd) in 2017 and could really use a boost to at least 31st. James is a talented playmaker who should be able to cap off longer routes.

 

8 – Chicago Bears

Pick: CB Denzel Ward, Ohio State

Jayson – The Bears would love to see Quenton Nelson fall here, but they have needs on defense that they can address as well. Ward is a tad undersized, but he makes up for it with great speed and ball skills. He will match up well with a lot of #1 receivers.

 

9 – San Francisco 49ers

Pick: LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech

Jeff – Please for the love of anything that is good in the world get Reuben Foster off this team. He is flat out a bad person (domestic violence) and doesn’t deserve to have his job anymore. EVEN IF Foster isn’t cut/suspended they could use the help.

 

*TRADE ALERT*

New England receives Pick 1.10

Oakland receives Picks 1.23, 1.31, 3.120, 2019 4th Rd Pick

With the fall of Josh Rosen, the Pats see their chance to move up and get the eventual successor to Tom Brady’s throne. They give up a lot to get him, but the Raiders refused to give this pick to their arch rivals without getting a King’s ransom in return.

 

10 – New England Patriots (from Oakland)

Pick: QB Josh Rosen, UCLA

Jeff – Rumors are the Patriots love Rosen and they would need to trade ahead of Miami/Buffalo to get him. After all the Brady turmoil, they will be wanting to look for a successor. Besides, the value they lose in the picks they traded away will be made up by some white car salesman they sign off the street to play as their slot receiver.

 

11 – Miami Dolphins

Pick: LB Roquan Smith, Georgia

Jeff – Miami needs a lot of things, but with the top-4 quarterbacks gone, I think Smith is one of the better players left on the board. Miami could use some help at the strong side getting pressure to the QB (30 sacks 2017, 26th NFL).

 

12 – Buffalo Bills (from Cincinnati)

Pick: QB Lamar Jackson, Louisville

Jay – It’s probably a little early value-wise to take Jackson, but he has the potential to change the way we view the quarterback position in the NFL. He’s a better version of the QB that took the Bills to the playoffs last season. I think come tonight, they will have to move up to get him, as I expect five QBs to go in the Top-10.

 

13 – Washington Redskins

Pick: CB/S Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama

Jeff – Washington has filled most of their needs offensively, so I think they go DB here. I think Fitzpatrick is a steal at this point in the draft. He can help their 21st ranked pass defense from the get-go. His playmaking ability, along with the addition of Alex Smith, can help this team be one of the best in the league in turnover differential.

 

14 – Green Bay Packers

Pick: EDGE Marcus Davenport, UTSA

Jay – Green Bay is picking higher than usual, and that gives them the chance to get an impact player. Davenport is raw as a prospect, but he has all the potential in the world. The Packers could use a better pass rush, and Davenport should help early while he develops the rest of his game.

 

15 – Arizona Cardinals

Pick: CB Josh Jackson. Iowa

Jeff – Arizona is filled with needs at this point, but with Top-5 QBs gone, they will have to wait another year to find their future signal caller. Enter Josh Jackson, a standout DB from the Big Ten who can pair well with Patrick Peterson after Mathieu’s release.

 

16 – Baltimore Ravens

Pick: WR Calvin Ridley, Alabama

Jay – Ozzie Newsome loves his Alabama players (he took Marlon Humphrey in the 1st Round last year), and his team has a need for a #1 receiver. Ridley is the safest WR in this draft, and he’ll instantly become the #1 target for Joe Flacco.

 

17 – Los Angeles Chargers

Pick: OT Mike McGlinchey

Jeff – Phil Rivers got sacked 43 times in 2017 and still threw for 4500+ yards. Imagine if they had a capable right tackle to help protect him and make room for Gordon, whose YPC numbers have been pretty awful since he’s been drafted.

 

18 – Seattle Seahawks

Pick: OT/OG Connor Williams, Texas

Jay – It’s time for the Seahawks to stop ignoring their offensive line early on in drafts. They acquired Duane Brown last season to man the left tackle position, and here they can get Williams who can play right tackle, or if he struggles due to his height and arm length, can easily slide inside to center or guard. I’m tired of watching Russell Wilson run for his life, I want to see what he can do with time in the pocket.

 

19 – Dallas Cowboys

Pick: WR Courtland Sutton, SMU

Jeff – After cutting their only decent wideout in the last 10 years, the Cowboys signed Allen Hurns and Deonte Thompson. Neither of them projects to have many targets and they need a legitimate number one to take some pressure off Ezekiel Elliott and the ancient Jason Witten.

 

20 – Detroit Lions

Pick: OG Will Hernandez, UTEP

Jay – The defense made huge strides last season, so I think they should focus on improving their offensive line. They need to keep Stafford upright and open some holes for their running backs. Hernandez is a mean, nasty MF’er, and he will improve their offense from the get-go.

 

21 – Cincinnati Bengals (from Buffalo)

Pick: C/OG Billy Price, OSU

Jeff – Cincy needs an O-line to protect their new workhorse back, Joe Mixon. Their line is pretty abysmal, with backs only averaging 3.6 YPC last season. Anyone else who fits a need for this team seems like a reach to me, and Price is as good a center prospect as they come.

 

22 – Buffalo Bills (from Kansas City)

Pick: C/OG James Daniels, Iowa

Jay – Jeff just said anyone else at a need position for Cincy would be a reach, but as bad as the Bills’ offensive line is, the reach is worth it. I’d also be slightly worried about the torn bicep that Price suffered at the Combine. Daniels will surely be ready to go from day one, and will protect Lamar Jackson or AJ McCarron very well. I’m sure LeSean McCoy would be a fan as well.

 

23 – Oakland Raiders (from LA Rams via New England)

Pick: LB Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State

Jay – Every year, I hope that the Raiders go linebacker in the 1st or 2nd Round, and every year, they don’t, and it’s frustrating. The defense has good players, they just need somebody who can control the middle of the field and lay the lumber when needed. That is Vander Esch. He can play inside on running downs and outside on passing downs. I think he’ll be a great three-down linebacker in this league.

 

24 – Carolina Panthers

Pick: CB Jaire Alexander, Louisville

Jay – Another team that tends to ignore a position of need early on in drafts. Alexander is flying up boards due to his impressive Combine numbers, and I think the Panthers would be very lucky if he was available at #24. He’s fast, he has great ball skills, and he’ll help on special teams as well. This would be a great pick.

 

25 – Tennessee Titans

Pick: EDGE Harold Landry, Boston College

Jeff – Kevin Dodd doesn’t look like he will pan out, and Brian Orakpo is already declining and over 30. If I’m the Titans I bolster the defense here with the best player available that best fits their needs. Landry has to tools to disrupt the quarterback and give nightmares to offensive linemen.

 

26 – Atlanta Falcons

Pick: WR Christian Kirk, Texas A&M

Jay – This might be a slight reach, especially considering D.J. Moore is still on the board, but the Falcons’ offense is at its best with a dynamic slot receiver. Taylor Gabriel is gone, so they replace him with the best slot receiver in this draft class. If teams want to double Julio Jones, Matt Ryan and Christian Kirk will make them pay.

 

27 – New Orleans Saints

Pick: OG Isaiah Wynn, Georgia

Jeff – Now this guy definitely won’t help you tackle Stefon Diggs, but he’s a physical guy who can block with the best of them. I am not too concerned about his height (6’2 is short for an O-Lineman), as long as he can stay strong and agile and protect Brees in his later years.

 

28 – Pittsburgh Steelers

Pick: LB Rashaan Evans, Alabama

Jay – Unfortunately, Ryan Shazier will not play this year. I hope that is not the case down the line, but the Steelers must replace his production. Evans is the closest thing they’ll get to Shazier at this point. He’s a physical inside linebacker, and he’s smart enough to take on the team leader role that Shazier held. He’s not like other recent Alabama linebackers (I hope I don’t regret saying that down the line).

 

*TRADE ALERT*

Washington receives Picks 1.29, 4.129

Jacksonville receives Picks 2.44, 4.142, 2019 2nd Rd Pick

The Skins trade multiple 2nd Round picks to move up and get a guy that I admittedly had completely forgotten about.

 

29 – Washington Redskins (from Jacksonville)

Pick: DT Vita Vea, Washington

Jeff – So I think most of us forgot that Vea existed until I got my final pick. I decided that Washington may as well give up a little to get a player that is ranked well higher by many experts. Vea is a huge, physical presence who will stuff any runner that comes within arms reach.

Jay – I am human, so I make mistakes. I completely forgot about Vea. If I could have a do-over, I believe either the Chargers at 17, Seahawks at 18 or Lions at 20 would take him if given the chance. There’s no way he’ll get past the Lions.

 

30 – Minnesota Vikings

Pick: CB Mike Hughes, UCF

Jay – They have more pressing needs on offense, but Hughes could take over for the aging Terrance Newman and give the defense a whole lot more. He has some character concerns, but that shouldn’t be an issue with Mike Zimmer. He runs a pretty tight ship, and should be able to get the most out of Hughes. He’s a little undersized, and he’s still developing as a corner, but he could be a shutdown guy in a couple years time.

 

31 – Oakland Raiders (from New England)

Pick: DT Maurice Hurst, Michigan

Jay – Hurst was red flagged at the Combine by many teams for heart irregularities. That is a major concern. However, if he tested okay for the Raiders, he is exactly the kind of player they need. He has the most pass rushing potential of the defensive tackles in this class, and he would make life a whole lot easier for Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin.

 

32 – Philadelphia Eagles

Pick: RB Sony Michel, Georgia

Jay – The Eagles have the luxury, given their deep roster, to take the best player available. Michel is electric with the ball in his hands, and while knee issues are a concern, that kind of thing has never stopped the Eagles from taking a risk on a player. If healthy, Michel is the ideal complement to Jay Ajayi, and would be a fantastic pick to conclude Round 1.

2018 NFL Mock Draft – Version 1.0

Did this year’s NFL Draft sneak up on anybody else? If just seeing this post shocked you, I have news, the Draft starts TOMORROW! Taking place in Dallas this year, the 1st Round is tomorrow night, with Rounds 2 and 3 on Friday night, and Rounds 4 through 7 on Saturday afternoon.

This is as intriguing a 1st Round of a Draft that I can ever remember. There are five major quarterback prospects… Josh Allen, Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Baker Mayfield and Lamar Jackson (in no particular order). There are teams with picks in the Top-5 who are almost definitely going to take one of those guys. There are also plenty of teams outside the Top-5 who may look to trade up to grab them.

It’s a bit of a top heavy 1st Round, with about 12-14 guys who are considered blue chip prospects, and then a lot of guys that could make a big impact, but could just as easily be a bust.

For this mock draft, it’s a mix of what I think will happen and what I would do if I were picking for these teams. I have decided to predict some trades that may happen, I think I wind up with four trades in the 1st Round. I’ve also mocked the 2nd Round here as well.

Tomorrow afternoon, just a few hours prior to the Draft, I will have Version 2.0 of my NFL Mock Draft, where myself and my good friend Jeff Greco went back and forth picking for the teams in the 1st Round, so stay tuned for that.

Without any more discussion, here is Version 1.0 of We Love Sportz’s 2018 NFL Mock Draft!

1st Round

1 – Cleveland Browns

Team Needs: QB, OL, DB

Pick – QB Sam Darnold, USC

If you ask me, they should take the best player in the draft (Saquon Barkley) and see what QB is there when they pick again at #4. But they have the chance to get the QB they love the most, and they will. You can miss me with all the smokescreens too. Darnold probably has the highest floor of the QB prospects in this class, especially given he has no off-field concerns. He’ll benefit from sitting for a season behind Tyrod Taylor.

 

2 – New York Giants

Team Needs: DL, OL, RB

Pick – RB Saquon Barkley, Penn State

Taking Eli Manning’s eventual successor makes a lot of sense here. So does replacing Jason Pierre-Paul with the best D-Line prospect (Chubb). However, the Giants know they need to nail this pick, and Barkley is a superstar. The G-Men haven’t had a superstar at running back since Tiki Barber. Barkley will add a dynamic threat to an offense that struggled mightily at times last season.

 

3 – New York Jets (from Indianapolis)

Team Needs: QB, DL, OL

Pick – QB Josh Allen, Wyoming

This is going to be a quarterback. There’s no ifs, ands or buts. The Jets traded three 2nd Round picks (two this year, one in 2019) to move up three spots, ensuring them one of the top three QBs in the class. It’s hard to predict which one they’ll take, but Allen is your prototypical NFL quarterback as far as size and measurables go. He has the highest ceiling in this class, but also the most bust potential.

 

4 – Cleveland Browns (from Houston)

Team Needs: OL, DB, RB

Pick – EDGE Bradley Chubb, NC State

The Browns got this pick by trading back in last year’s 1st Round, with the Texans moving up to grab Deshaun Watson. After securing their quarterback of the future at #1, Cleveland finds themselves in a spot where they can give their team one of the most fearsome defensive lines in the league. Myles Garrett on one side, Bradley Chubb on the other. Roethlisberger, Flacco and Dalton could be in for a world of hurt if this comes to fruition.

 

5 – Denver Broncos

Team Needs: DB, OL, WR

Pick – QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma

The Broncos could replace Aqib Talib by taking the top cornerback in the class, or they could snag Quenton Nelson and add an impact player to a putrid offensive line. However, despite signing Case Keenum to a 2-year deal this offseason, taking a QB is still very much in the cards. Baker Mayfield could be a superstar in the NFL. He could also be a massive bust if he doesn’t change off the field. I think John Elway will be willing to take the risk.

 

*TRADE ALERT*

We now have our first trade of the mock draft. The Colts are reportedly looking to move down again, in order to stockpile picks and go through a massive roster overhaul. That makes a ton of sense. Meanwhile, with three QBs off the board already, there should be teams looking to move up. The Bills have a ton of ammo and a major need at the position, so I believe they would be the team to make the move.

Trade Details:
Buffalo receives Picks 1.6 and 2.37
Indianapolis receives Picks 1.12 (via CIN), 1.22 (via KC) and 2.56

The Colts pick up another 1st Rounder, giving them two 1st’s and three 2nd’s in this draft. In order to get both of the Bills’ 1st Round picks, they move back 19 spots with one of their 2nd Round picks. This trade makes a lot of sense for both teams.

 

6 – Buffalo Bills (from NY Jets via Indianapolis)

Team Needs: QB, OL, WR

Pick – QB Josh Rosen, UCLA

In a perfect world, I think the Bills would move up to #2 and take whichever of Darnold or Allen are available after the Browns pick. I just don’t think the Giants trade down unless they get a king’s ransom. Instead, the Bills move up to #6 and grab who I believe is the best pure quarterback prospect in this class. There are off-field concerns around Rosen, as well as durability issues, but as far as playing football goes, there isn’t a better QB coming out in 2018. The Bills could comfortably start him right away, or let him sit behind AJ McCarron for a season.

 

7 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Team Needs: DB, RB, OL

Pick – S Derwin James, Florida State

It was a disappointing 2017 season for the Bucs, but I still do not think they are very far off from contending in the NFC. Running back is the biggest hole on their roster, but there are good prospects to be had there later on. Derwin James is a popular name right now, moving past Minkah Fitzpatrick on most boards. He’s a big, physical safety who will add a necessary punch to the back end of the Bucs’ defense.

 

8 – Chicago Bears

Team Needs: OL, DL, DB

Pick – OG Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame

I would like to go on record as saying that there is absolutely zero chance Quenton Nelson gets past the Bears at #8. It’s just the perfect draft pick. A future Hall of Fame offensive guard going to a team with a massive need on the offensive line and just happened to have signed the previously mentioned player’s offensive line coach from college. Nelson might be the best “football player” in this draft class. It would be a fabulous pick for the Bears if he lasts this long.

 

9 – San Francisco 49ers

Team Needs: DB, DL, OL

Pick – LB Roquan Smith, Georgia

After trading for Jimmy Garoppolo last season, the Niners were one of the best teams in football. Expectations are super high for them this upcoming season. In order to reach those expectations, they must improve on defense. While not one of their top needs, linebacker could become a hole on their roster, with the legal troubles of last year’s 1st Round pick Reuben Foster. Smith is a sideline-to-sideline thumper who can play inside or outside for the Niners.

 

*TRADE ALERT*

I believe that another trade would occur here. I get the feeling that the Raiders love a few prospects that they don’t want to take this high. Meanwhile, there’s one more QB on the board that some teams may fall in love with, and the Dolphins at #11 have a need at the QB position. Rather than sit back and risk Miami making the plunge, I believe the Patriots would move up and get a player that they are reportedly very intrigued by, to eventually take over for Tom Brady.

Trade Details:
New England receives 1.10
Oakland receives 1.23, 2.43 (via SF), 3.95, 2019 5th Round Pick

In this scenario, rather than demand both of New England’s 1st Round picks, the Raiders are happy to pick up a second pick in both Rounds 2 and 3. They have a lot of holes on their roster to fill, and these days, any pick in the first three rounds is an expected starter. The future 5th Rounder is a throw-in to seal the deal. The Raiders won’t make a deal with their dreaded rivals for the appropriate value, they will have to overpay. The Patriots get to move up and get their guy while still holding on to their other 1st Rounder. A great trade for them.

 

10 – New England Patriots (from Oakland)

Team Needs: OL, DB, LB

Pick – QB Lamar Jackson, Louisville

Is this a little high for Jackson? Yeah, probably. But #10 was considered too high for Patrick Mahomes last year, but the Chiefs like him so much that they let Alex Smith walk. #12 was considered too high for Deshaun Watson last year, but I bet the Texans don’t regret that pick. Lamar Jackson could very easily be the next Michael Vick. The Pats can afford to groom him and let him learn some tricks from arguably the greatest QB to ever play the game. As a Patriots hater, I do not want them to get Lamar Jackson. I like him too much. But I do think it’s a very real possibility.

 

11 – Miami Dolphins

Team Needs: DL, LB, QB

Pick – DT Vita Vea, Washington

It would be mildly disappointing for the Dolphins to miss out on the top quarterbacks in this class, but they do still have Ryan Tannehill. He’s coming off an injury and he has yet to come close to his potential, but who knows what could happen this year. Rather than reach for a QB, the replace the departed Ndamukong Suh with another monster in Vea. The things that he can do at his size are extraordinary, and he won’t be a character issue like Suh was.

 

12 – Indianapolis Colts (from Cincinnati via Buffalo)

Team Needs: OL, DL, LB

Pick – LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech

I only listed three needs here, but outside of quarterback (assuming Andrew Luck is at least somewhat healthy), the Colts need to upgrade every position on the roster. They start with the uber-athletic Edmunds. He is one of, if not the, best pure athletes in this draft class. He played a lot of inside linebacker at VT, but NFL people think he projects best as an outside guy. The Colts need help inside and out, so Edmunds fits the bill.

 

13 – Washington Redskins

Team Needs: DL, LB, DB

Pick – CB Denzel Ward, Ohio State

The Skins think they are fairly set on offense, especially with Alex Smith replacing Kirk Cousins. They never appreciated Cousins like they should have. Anyway, their defense needs a lot of work. Luckily for them, with the way the board fell here, the top corner in the class falls right into their lap. Ward is a tad undersized at 5-10, but he has great ball skills and the speed necessary to keep up with NFL receivers. He’ll fit in nicely opposite Josh Norman.

 

14 – Green Bay Packers

Team Needs: DB, OL, LB

Pick – CB/S Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama

It’s rare to see the Packers drafting this high, but it affords them a chance to add one of the top prospects in this class to a loaded roster. They could upgrade their protection for Aaron Rodgers, but the way the board has fallen, a player that many consider a Top-5 prospect is available, and I’d expect them to jump. The Packers have one great defensive back from Alabama, why not add another? Fitzpatrick can play all over the field, and Green Bay will do a great job maximizing his talents.

 

15 – Arizona Cardinals

Team Needs: QB, DB, OL

Pick – CB Jaire Alexander, Louisville

Cardinals’ fans cannot feel comfortable heading into this season with Sam Bradford as their starting QB, and I expect they’ll be involved in talks to move into the Top-10 to get one of the big QBs. I feel they’ll be outbid, so they’ll stay put and improve their defense instead. Their defensive backfield was very leaky last season, and Jaire Alexander would be a massive improvement at the cornerback position. He is undersized like Denzel Ward, but he is extremely quick and reactive. He ran a 4.38 40 at the combine.

 

16 – Baltimore Ravens

Team Needs: WR, LB, OL

Pick – WR Calvin Ridley, Alabama

Ozzie Newsome loves Alabama players. John Harbaugh could use a #1 receiver. A match made in heaven. Despite the additions of John Brown, Michael Crabtree and Willie Snead, the Ravens’ offense lacks a true star at the receiver position for Joe Flacco. Ridley has the potential to be that star. He is a lot like another Alabama receiver, Amari Cooper. Not super tall, not super quick, but a great route runner and very talented after the catch.

 

17 – Los Angeles Chargers

Team Needs: OL, DT, DB

Pick – OT Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame

The Chargers would love to see one of the class’s top safeties, Fitzpatrick or James, fall to them at #17, but I don’t see that happening. They’ll improve in the trenches with this pick instead. A pass-rushing defensive tackle would help out Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram on the edges, but they are still committed to Philip Rivers for at least one more season, so they should look to improve their poor offensive line. McGlinchey may not be good enough to move to left tackle, but he’ll be an above average right tackle for a long time in this league.

 

18 – Seattle Seahawks

Team Needs: DL, OL, TE

Pick – EDGE Marcus Davenport, UTSA

It seems kind of weird, but the Seahawks are going to be in a bit of a rebuilding mode this season. They are making a ton of changes on the defensive side of the ball, and could use some pass rushing help after losing Sheldon Richardson and trading Michael Bennett. Davenport is raw, but he has all the athletic traits necessary to be a premier pass rusher in the NFL.

 

19 – Dallas Cowboys

Team Needs: LB, WR, DB

Pick – WR D.J. Moore, Maryland

You can argue whether it was the right decision or not, but the Cowboys have moved on from the volatile Dez Bryant. That leaves them in desperate need for a #1 receiver for Dak Prescott. The defense has some needs, but they can be addressed later on. With Ridley off the board, I think there’s only one other potential #1 WR in this class, and that’s the rising Moore out of Maryland. Like his fellow Terrapin Stefon Diggs, Moore is a big body with great speed and above average hands. Diggs was a 5th Round pick, but would be a 1st Rounder in hindsight.

 

20 – Detroit Lions

Team Needs: DL, OL, RB

Pick – OG Will Hernandez, UTEP

The Lions’ defense was much improved last season, and they don’t have a lot of areas of need on that side of the ball. A defensive tackle or edge rushing depth could be the move here, but I think they should try to improve their run game early and often in this draft. It’s a deep running back class, so in the 1st Round, they can improve the middle of their offensive line. Hernandez is probably the nastiest offensive lineman in this class. He will help open up some holes for whoever is in the backfield with Matthew Stafford next season.

 

21 – Cincinnati Bengals (from Buffalo)

Team Needs: OL, WR, DB

Pick – OG/C James Daniels, Iowa

The Bengals traded back to this spot during the offseason, acquiring offensive tackle Cordy Glenn from the Bills along with this pick for the #12 pick in this year’s draft. The defense will go through some changes with DC Paul Guenther leaving to take the same position on Jon Gruden’s staff in Oakland. However, there are more pressing needs on the offensive side of the ball. Acquiring Glenn should not stop the Bengals from adding to their line, and Daniels is the best center in this class.

 

22 – Indianapolis Colts (from Kansas City via Buffalo)

Team Needs: OL, DL, LB

Pick – LB Rashaan Evans, Alabama

In the scenario created here, the Colts move back to #12 and #22, and they double dip in the linebacker position. They have three 2nd Round picks, so they have the luxury to be able to do that. Their first pick, Tremaine Edmunds, projects as an outside linebacker, so the Colts scoop up Evans to man the inside. Many teams may have hesitation with Evans due to the recent history of Alabama linebackers, but Evans is as clean off the field as they get. And he’s really good on it.

 

23 – Oakland Raiders (from LA Rams via New England)

Team Needs: DT, LB, DB

Pick – OT Kolton Miller, UCLA

Yes, I just listed three defensive positions as the Raiders’ three biggest needs but have them taking an offensive tackle. Hear me out. Trading back gives them a few extra picks, so they can address the defense often in this draft. They are paying Derek Carr too much money not to protect him, they’ve been weak at right tackle for a while, and left tackle Donald Penn probably doesn’t have many years left. Miller is likely to be the best left tackle in this class, so Jon Gruden jumps all over him here.

 

24 – Carolina Panthers

Team Needs: DB, OL, WR

Pick – S Justin Reid, Stanford

I like the idea of the Panthers getting a top receiver or tight end to help out Cam Newton, but I don’t think there are any worth taking here. Instead, they plug a hole on their defense with the rising Reid out of Stanford. He projects as a better player than his brother Eric, who was also a late 1st Round pick. Justin has great size, speed and ball skills. He’s exactly what the back end of the Panthers’ defense needs.

 

25 – Tennessee Titans

Team Needs: DL, LB, WR

Pick – EDGE Harold Landry, Boston College

It was a fantastic season for the Tennessee Titans, and I believe that they are just a few pieces away from becoming real contenders in the AFC. They have some weaknesses in the front seven, and I expect them to use multiple picks early to address it. Landry was looking like a Top-10 pick before injuries derailed him last season. But if you look at him pre-injury, he shows the ability to be a double-digit sack guy on a regular basis in the NFL.

 

26 – Atlanta Falcons

Team Needs: DL, WR, TE

Pick – DT Taven Bryan, Florida

The Falcons, as long as they have Dan Quinn at the helm and Matt Ryan at quarterback, will be contenders in the NFC. I believe that affords them the opportunity to shoot for the moon with this pick. Defensive tackle is a major position of need for this team, and while there are players who will give better production from the get-go, there might not be a DT with a higher ceiling in this class than Bryan. He is still learning the position, but with Dan Quinn able to coach him up, he could end up being the best defensive player from this draft.

 

27 – New Orleans Saints

Team Needs: TE, QB, OL

Pick – TE Dallas Goedert, South Dakota State

I guess part of me could see the Saints making a move up to take a QB-in-waiting behind Drew Brees. A lot of people would love to see Lamar Jackson end up in New Orleans. I think that could be a lot of fun as well. But I don’t see the Saints moving up as far as it would take to get him. Since trading Jimmy Graham, Brees has not had a reliable option at tight end. The Saints get him one here in Goedert, the small school tight end who can line up in the slot as a big wide receiver. He can be exactly what Jimmy Graham was to the Saints.

 

28 – Pittsburgh Steelers

Team Needs: LB, DB, WR

Pick – LB Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State

As long as Ben Roethlisberger, Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown are wearing the black and gold, the Steelers will be Super Bowl contenders. They have some holes on defense that they are likely to fill early in this draft. Vander Esch is somebody that experts believe could wind up as the best linebacker from this draft class. He can play inside or outside, and that versatility will be very attractive to Mike Tomlin and company.

 

29 – Jacksonville Jaguars

Team Needs: WR, OL, TE

Pick – OT/OG Connor Williams, Texas

The Jaguars were just a couple plays away from a trip to the Super Bowl last season. They re-signed Blake Bortles because they think they can win with him at QB. I think they’ll draft a developmental quarterback in this draft, but not this early. They can either get Bortles a weapon or help keep him upright. Connor Williams played left tackle at Texas, but he could start his NFL career inside at guard. The Jags will find a spot for him along their line.

 

30 – Minnesota Vikings

Team Needs: OL, DB, TE

Pick – OG Isaiah Wynn, Georgia

The Vikings were just a win away from a trip to the Super Bowl last year, and they just replaced Case Keenum with Kirk Cousins. Most people will pick the Eagles to repeat as NFC champs, but I believe that the Vikings should be the favorites. Dalvin Cook will return healthy, and to help him out, the Vikings grab Wynn, who can slot in all across the line. He’s a little short for tackle, but he’s a super-athletic guard. He’ll open up plenty of running lanes for Cook.

 

*TRADE ALERT*

Trade #3 of the 1st Round happens right here, with the Cardinals moving up to the back end of the 1st Round to grab a QB after missing out on one of the Top-5 passers.

Trade Details:
Arizona receives 1.31
New England receives 2.47, 3.79

The Pats gave up a 2nd and a 3rd to move from 23 to 10 in the 1st Round, so they recoup those picks by giving up their other 1st Rounder. The Cardinals give up their picks in those rounds in an effort to get two impact players in the 1st Round. A fair trade-off.

 

31 – Arizona Cardinals (from New England)

Team Needs: QB, DB, OL

Pick – QB Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State

After the first five quarterbacks, number six is a gunslinger out of Stillwater named Mason Rudolph. He did not play in a pro-style offense at Oklahoma State, but that has not always been a negative. He’s a big kid with a big arm, and he can learn some things from Sam Bradford. The hope here is that Bradford stays healthy enough to give Rudolph the developmental year that he needs.

 

*TRADE ALERT*

A lot of years we see some late trades in the 1st Round, most often so teams can go grab a slipping prospect or a quarterback that they don’t want to wait for. I believe we get one more trade here, but this time, it’s for a player with some medical red flags that could be one of the biggest steals of this draft if the health stays in check.

Trade Details:
Oakland receives 1.32
Philadelphia receives 2.41, 3.95 (via NE)

The Eagles do not have picks in the 2nd or 3rd Rounds this year, but with a lot of solid prospects to be available in those rounds, they’ll happily trade this pick at the end of the 1st. Meanwhile, the Raiders give up their own 2nd Rounder and the 3rd they picked up in the earlier trade with New England.

 

32 – Oakland Raiders (from Philadelphia)

Team Needs: DT, LB, DB

Pick – DT Maurice Hurst, Michigan

At the NFL Combine, Hurst was red flagged by a lot of teams for some irregularities with his heart. That will surely scare some teams off. However, the Raiders have such a need for a pass rushing defensive tackle that they should be willing to move up to grab this guy. A risk, certainly, but one worth taking. Hurst has incredible get-off at the snap, and while he is a little undersized, he has the most pass rushing potential among the defensive tackles in this draft class.

 

2nd Round

*Picks in Bold are based on trades that occurred in my mock draft*

  1. Cleveland Browns – RB Derrius Guice, LSU
  2. New York Giants – OT Brian O’Neill, Pittsburgh
  3. Cleveland Browns (from Houston) – CB Mike Hughes, UCF
  4. Indianapolis Colts (from NY Jets) – C/OG Billy Price, Ohio State
  5. Buffalo Bills (from Indianapolis) – S Ronnie Harrison, Alabama
  6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – RB Sony Michel, Georgia
  7. Chicago Bears – EDGE Lorenzo Carter, Georgia
  8. Denver Broncos – CB Isaiah Oliver, Colorado
  9. Philadelphia Eagles (from Oakland) – DT Da’Ron Payne, Alabama
  10. Miami Dolphins – TE Hayden Hurst, South Carolina
  11. Oakland Raiders (from San Francisco via New England) – RB Ronald Jones II, USC
  12. Washington Redskins – RB Kerryon Johnson, Auburn
  13. Green Bay Packers – EDGE Sam Hubbard, Ohio State
  14. Cincinnati Bengals – CB Donte Jackson, LSU
  15. New England Patriots (from Arizona) – CB/S M.J. Stewart, North Carolina
  16. Los Angeles Chargers – S Jessie Bates III, Wake Forest
  17. Indianapolis Colts (from Seattle) – WR Christian Kirk, Texas A&M
  18. Dallas Cowboys – TE Mike Gesicki, Penn State
  19. Detroit Lions – DT Da’Shawn Hand, Alabama
  20. Baltimore Ravens – C/OG Frank Ragnow, Arkansas
  21. Buffalo Bills – WR Courtland Sutton, SMU
  22. Kansas City Chiefs – CB Josh Jackson, Iowa
  23. Carolina Panthers – CB Anthony Averett, Alabama
  24. Indianapolis Colts (from LA Rams via Buffalo) – OT Orlando Brown, Oklahoma
  25. Tennessee Titans – DT Poona Ford, Texas
  26. Atlanta Falcons – WR D.J. Chark, LSU
  27. San Francisco 49ers (from New Orleans) – TE Mark Andrews, Oklahoma
  28. Pittsburgh Steelers – WR Daesean Hamilton, Penn State
  29. Jacksonville Jaguars – QB Luke Falk, Washington State
  30. Minnesota Vikings – CB Carlton Davis, Auburn
  31. New England Patriots – EDGE Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, Oklahoma
  32. Cleveland Browns (from Philadelphia) – OT Geron Christian, Louisville