By Matt Koontz
2018 NFL Mock Draft:
1. Cleveland Browns: (QB) Sam Darnold (USC): This kid needs a year to become the star he has the potential to be. The NFL fan base and expectations to push a QB to an instant starter is bad for these kids. They need to be patient and let him blossom a year behind Tyrod would be so great for him because once he figures out how the NFL game works he could be a pro bowler. I think of him like a Patrick Mahomes. Other pick that the Browns could make here: Baker Mayfield (QB)
2. New York Giants: (RB) Saquon Barkley (Penn State): I know that everyone believes he is the 2nd coming of Barry Sanders or whatever but I believe he is not even close. I believe he will be a mistake at pick number 2 as I personally don’t believe he will ever be a top 5 running back in the NFL at any point in his career. He will be a top 10 but I don’t think a top 5 will happen. He has great athleticism and speed but his ability to run between the tackles concerns me and I think he dances around in the backfield too much which will get him swallowed up in the NFL. Other pick that makes sense here is Josh Allen or Sam Darnold (QB)
3. New York Jets from Indianapolis Colts: (QB) Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma): Everyone says this is basically a done deal. I think this is a horrible pick. I don’t think Mayfield will become a star in the NFL maybe at his best an NFL average QB but his off the field issues are what concern me the most. Other pick that makes sense Bradley Chubb. (DE)
4. Buffalo Bills (Mock Trade) From Browns from Texans: (QB) Josh Allen (Wyoming): Josh is a very intelligent young man with a ton of potential to become a star. He just like Rosen can’t be rushed into the league as a starter. He has incredible intelligence and a great self-belief and poise. This is a good pick for the Bills if they are going for QB like it is believed though I think they should address offensive line first. Bills give up 12th overall, 22nd overall, and 56th overall. Other pick that makes sense here: Quenton Nelson (OG)
5. Denver Broncos: (DE) Bradley Chubb (NC State): This is the best talent in the draft. He’s pretty much a guarantee success. I wouldn’t hesitate if he is here at 5, this kid has the talent level of a Khalil Mack or a JJ Watt. Bradley is a truly talented star in the making and in my eyes is the best player in this draft and I know he is in the eyes of many others. Other pick that makes sense Josh Jackson (CB).
6. Indianapolis Colts From New York Jets: (ILB) Roquan Smith (Georgia): The Colts are transitioning their defense and with this transition they need an improved defense. Chubb in my eyes would be their best pick but with him gone at 5 I believe they go with the 2nd best option to add to their front 7 with this pick. Other pick that makes sense Quenton Nelson (OG).
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: (SS) Derwin James (Florida State): The Buccaneers defense was a nightmare last year and they need to build up their secondary and this pick would surely go a long way into doing that. Derwin is a top 3 overall talent in this draft and would be a great pick for the Buccaneers here. Other pick that makes sense: Minkah Fitzpatrick (Alabama)
8. Chicago Bears: (OG) Quenton Nelson (Notre Dame): The Bears desperately need to protect Mitchell Trubisky and to do that they need to get one of the best offensive lineman to come into the draft since Zach Martin. This kid will be very special and would be a wall in front of their young QB and run game.
9. San Francisco 49ers: (FS) Minkah Fitzpatrick (Alabama): The 49ers are getting close to a super bowl quality team again and to get there entirely they need to complete their defense. Minkah won’t complete everything they need but he will strongly secure their secondary and help them defensively by leaps and bounds. Other pick that makes sense: Courtland Sutton (WR)
10. Oakland Raiders: (ILB) Tremaine Edmunds (Va Tech): The Raiders desperately need defense and they need a middle linebacker more than they need anything else. Edwards is the 2nd best at his position and with Roquan Smith gone is without a doubt the route the Raiders need to go here. There are no other picks that make sense in this spot. I think Edmunds at 10 is early so I wouldn’t be shocked if they traded down.
11. Miami Dolphins: (DT) Maurice Hurst (Michigan): The Dolphins lost Suh in free agency and will need to immediately replace the hole in their defensive line that he vacated. Hurst is a monster and could make a significant difference for this defense and help shut down the run game of opposing offenses. This pick isn’t the popular pick, but it is the one that makes the most sense to me. Other pick that makes sense here: Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (DE)
12. Cleveland Browns (Mock Trade with Bills from 4): (OT) Mike McGlinchey (Notre Dame): The Browns moved back to here to gain even more picks and will look to replace Joe Thomas here with this pick. Mike is a good player and will develop into a nice reliable offensive piece for their line, but he won’t be Joe Thomas. That doesn’t matter he still has incredible talent. Other pick that makes sense: Jaire Alexander (CB) or move back in a trade again.
13. Washington Redskins: (DT) Vita Vea (Washington): The Skins need to build up their defensive line and Vea is a great pick to start that process with as I believe he will be an immediate impact player in the NFL. He is a skilled DT who can really help shut down a run game and regardless of his giant size he is surprisingly quick and will help the pass rush as well. Other pick that makes sense: Josh Jackson (CB)
14. Green Bay Packers: (CB) Josh Jackson (Iowa): Josh is my favorite corner in this draft and if him and Jaire Alexander are gone before this pick I think the Packers trade back. They have a few defensive needs, but corner has to be their number one need. This team needs to give Aaron Rodgers a chance, but they can’t do that when other teams can throw the ball all day long on them and Josh would become their top corner immediately with this pick. Other pick that makes sense: Denezel Ward (CB)
15. Arizona Cardinals: (QB) Lamar Jackson (Louisville): This is the believed guaranteed pick here if he falls here which I expect him to. Lamar isn’t an NFL ready QB and I don’t believe he will ever become a star in this league. Personally, I don’t think he is worth a 1st round pick and will not be a top 10 QB in his prime. This is the pick people believe that will happen though that is why I have him mocked here. Maybe he can surprise me, but he definitely needs a year to sit and learn. Other pick that makes sense here: Calvin Ridley (WR)
16. Baltimore Ravens: (WR) Courtland Sutton (Southern Methodist): The Ravens added Michael Crabtree, Willie Snead, and John Brown in the offseason but that was more like adding a band-aid to a bleeding artery. Crabtree is aging and has issues with drops, Snead had a great year 2 years ago but was basically a non-factor last year and John Brown is injury prone and has drop issues. I don’t think either of these men are fixes at all, but depth added to the worst receiving corps in the league. Sutton is the best WR in this class and might be a top 5 talent overall. If he falls to 16 the Ravens would be making a mistake not taking him. This kid would go early but the need for WR isn’t ridiculously strong before Baltimore. Other pick that makes sense here: Mason Rudolph (QB)
17. New England Patriots (Mock trade with LA Chargers): (QB) Josh Rosen (UCLA): Patriots trade up here and get the QB they want to groom behind Brady. Rosen is a talented kid and with a year to learn from Brady he would become a possible superstar. I think his ego is an issue to a lot of teams, but he seems to me to be like Aaron Rodgers in relation to his attitude and he just wants to win at all costs. Patriots give up 23rd overall and 43rd overall for this pick. Another player they could trade up for is Mason Rudolph (QB)
18. Seattle Seahawks: (OG) Isaiah Wynn (Georgia): The Seahawks must get an offensive line. They need to protect Russell Wilson, he is their superstar QB, not only would this pick protect Russell it would also add the ability to run the ball again. Seattle might be in a rebuild but their pick here doesn’t help them much with flashy pieces, Seattle needs this pick though and can’t worry about flashy picks. Other pick that makes sense here: Jaire Alexander (CB)
19. Dallas Cowboys: (WR) Calvin Ridley (Alabama): The Cowboys have moved on from Dez Bryant, but they do so with no good WR’s left as top options on their roster. Calvin is to me the 3rd most talented WR in this draft class but has been seen as a top 2 and if he is still available the Cowboys will pounce on him here and give Prescott someone to be happy with. Other pick that makes sense here: DJ Moore (WR)
20. Detroit Lions: (DE) Harold Landry (Boston College): The Lions really need another edge pass rusher and this pick would give them exactly that. I really like Landry and the ability he would bring to the Lions for a good pass rush opposite of Ansah. This could be a great pick for them. Other pick that makes sense here: Derrius Guice (RB)
21. Cincinnati Bengals: (C) Frank Ragnow (Arkansas): The Bengals historically don’t draft phenomenally well when it comes to offensive line, but the team doesn’t have a starting center on roster. They honestly can’t screw up this pick if they take Ragnow because he is an immediate starter in the NFL and would fix the Bengals biggest hole immediately. Other pick that makes sense here: James Daniels (C)
22. Cleveland Browns (Mock Trade from Bills for pick #4): (CB) Denzel Ward (Ohio State): The Browns gained some picks by moving back 8 spots and this pick is a great chance to add to their defense. If the Browns can sure up their secondary with all the other pieces they have added, they actually could become a competitive respected team in the NFL. I really believe that trading back 8 spots would be the best move for Cleveland. I really like Ward and believe he can be a great CB2 on any roster to start with and become a CB1 after a few years of learning the league play. Other pick that makes sense here: Isaiah Oliver (CB)
23. LA Chargers (Mock Trade from Patriots for pick #17): (QB) Mason Rudolph (Oklahoma State): The Chargers gain an extra pick to move back here and get the guy they could have taken at 17 still. They need to get a possible replacement groomed behind Rivers. Rudolph is a year or two from becoming a real NFL quality starter and would really be able to learn a lot from one of the best QB’s in the league. I like his potential I just believe he needs a team to be patient with him and let him learn the league and how to become a good NFL QB. Other pick that makes sense here: Taven Bryan (DT)
24. Carolina Panthers: (WR) DJ Moore (Maryland): The Panthers desperately need a WR for Cam to throw to and DJ is in my eyes one of the 2 best in this draft maybe even the best. I have been scouting DJ for 2 seasons at Maryland and believe he is still being underrated and undervalued by the league. He has kick returning abilities and his ability to catch and run is incredible. I know the knock on him in the past was his hands, but he has done a lot to fix those issues in the past year and become a very reliable WR. DJ will be a steal here and in 3 years-time will become a top 10 WR in the league. Other pick that makes sense here: James Washington (WR)
25. Tennessee Titans: (DE) Marcus Davenport (UTSA): The Titans need not just one but two pass rushers, but this pick would go a long way to securing that pass rush. Davenport is a really good player and a good young man who can start off as a good player in the NFL and develop into a star pass rusher that can seal an edge to help with the run as well. I really think if he falls this far the Titans will be salivating over him. Other pick that makes sense here: Rasheen Evans (ILB)
26. Atlanta Falcons: (DT) Da’Ron Payne (Alabama): The Falcons are missing a good run stopping force in the middle of their line. They need to really do something to change that as they face Kamara and Ingram twice a year. If they want to get Matt Ryan back to the super bowl the best way for them to do that is sure up their defense and they should start with this big beast to help secure their run defense. Other pick that makes sense here: Mike Hughes (CB)
27. Cleveland Browns (Mock Trade with the Saints): (OT) Kolton Miller (UCLA): The Browns make another move to get into the 1st and grab a 2nd tackle to add more strength and give them the ability to fix both ends of their offensive line. I love this move if it happens for the Browns because it will lead to a complete offensive line with Miller and McGlinchey holding the anchors on both sides. Other pick that makes sense is the Saints keeping this pick and taking Dallas Goedert (TE). The Saints get 33rd overall and the 56th overall which they got from the Bills earlier.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers: (ILB) Rasheen Evans (Alabama): The Steelers with the tragedy to Ryan Shazier will need to find a linebacker ASAP and Evans is a great one. I believe this is the best fit for the Steelers this far down and for the people claiming Guice is going to the Steelers, I guess they forgot about James Connor. I truly believe this is the route the Steelers take and address a big hole that they never expected to be without. Other pick the Steelers could take here: Orlando Brown (OT)
29. Jacksonville Jaguars: (WR) James Washington (Oklahoma State): Allen Robinson and Hurns are both gone, and they will need to find a replacement for those two immediately or they will see Bortles regress. James is a great WR with incredible hands and is a great down field option that could help make Blake feel like he didn’t lose as much as he did in the offseason. Other pick that makes sense here: Michael Gallup (WR)
30. Minnesota Vikings: (OG) Will Hernandez (UTEP): The Vikings need to build up their offensive line to protect their new shiny investment Kirk Cousins. They are weak at offensive guard and tackle and Will Hernandez is a good fill for that role and would go a long way to protecting Dalvin Cook and Kirk Cousins. I really like this pick for them. Other pick that makes sense here: Braden Smith (OG)
31. New England Patriots: (CB) Jaire Alexander (Louisville): The Patriots need to address their need for corner back with this pick after losing Malcom Butler to the Titans in free agency. This pick would be a nice piece to play opposite of Stephon Gillmore and give them a true CB1 and CB2. If they pull off this pick this would significantly increase their defensive rank and ability to stop opposition pass games. Other pick that makes sense: Dorian O’Daniel (OLB)
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Mock Trade with the Eagles): (RB) Derrius Guice (LSU): The Buccaneers give up pick #38 and 102 to move up and grab Guice before the Colts can. The Eagles don’t need anything too badly and moving back could help them build depth in spots that they are short of depth. Guice honestly might be the best running back in this class when it is all said and done, and the Buccaneers need a RB badly and could get a steal here grabbing him to end day one. I don’t think they trade up for anyone else.
33. New Orleans Saints (Mock Trade with the Browns for pick #27): (TE) Dallas Goedert (South Dakota State): This is their first pick after trading out of round 1.
34. New York Giants: (OG) Braden Smtih (Auburn): Already selected Saquon Barkley (RB)
35. Cleveland Browns: (FS) Justin Reid (Stanford): Already selected, Sam Darnold (QB), Mike
McGlinchey (OT), Denzel Ward (CB), Kolton Miller (OT).
36. Indianapolis Colts: (DE) Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (Oklahoma): Already selected Roquan Smith (ILB)
37. Indianapolis Colts: (OT) Tyrell Crosby (Oregon): Already selected Roquan Smith (ILB) and Ogbonnia Okoronwko (DE).
38. Philadelphia Eagles: (OLB) Leighton Vander Esch (Boise State): This is their first pick after trading out of round 1.
39. Chicago Bears: (CB) Isaiah Oliver (Colorado): Already selected Quenton Nelson (OG).
40. Denver Broncos: (OT) Orlando Brown (Oklahoma): Already selected Bradley Chubb (DE).
41. Oakland Raiders: (CB) Holton Hill (Texas): Already selected Tremaine Edmunds (ILB).
42. Miami Dolphins: (OLB) Darius Leonard (South Carolina State): Already selected Maurice Hurst (DT).
43. LA Chargers (Mock trade from the Patriots for pick #17): (OT) Connor Williams (Texas):Already selected Mason Rudolph (QB).
44. Washington Redskins: (CB) Greg Stroman (Virginia Tech): Already selected Vita Vea (DT).
45. Green Bay Packers: (WR) Michael Gallup (Colorado State): Already selected Josh Jackson (CB).
46. Cincinnati Bengals: (DT) Harrison Phillips (Stanford): Already selected Frank Ragnow (C).
47. Arizona Cardinals: (WR) Marcell Ateman (Oklahoma State): Already selected Lamar Jackson (QB).
48. LA Chargers: (DE) Josh Sweat (Florida State): Already selected, Mason Rudolph (QB) and Connor Williams (OT).
49. Indianapolis Colts: (RB) Ronald Jones II (USC): Already selected, Roquan Smith (ILB), Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (DE), and Tyrell Crosby (OT).
50. Dallas Cowboys: (DT) Tim Settle (Virginia Tech): Already selected Calvin Ridley (WR).
51. Detroit Lions: (TE) Mike Gesicki (Penn State): Already selected Harold Landry (DE).
52. Baltimore Ravens: (C) Billy Price (Ohio State): Already selected Courtland Sutton (WR).
53. Buffalo Bills: (WR) Anthony Miller (Memphis): Already selected Josh Allen (QB).
54. Kansas City Chiefs: (CB) Mike Hughes (UCF): This is their first pick of the draft.
55. Carolina Panthers: (CB) M.J. Stewart (North Carolina): Already selected DJ Moore (WR).
56. Cleveland Browns (Mock trade giving Bills the 4th overall): (TE) Mark Andrews (Oklahoma): Already selected, Sam Darnold (QB), Mike McGlinchey (OT), Denzel Ward (CB), Kolton Miller (OT), and Justin Reid (FS).
57. Tennessee Titans: (C) Martinas Rankin (Miss. State): Already selected Marcus Davenport (DE).
58. Atlanta Falcons: (WR) Tre’Quan Smith (UCF): Already selected Da’Ron Payne (DT).
59. San Francisco 49ers: (WR) Deontay Burnett (USC): Already selected Minkah Fitzpatrick (FS).
60. Pittsburgh Steelers: (CB/S) Kameron Kelly (San Diego State): Already selected Rasheen Evans (ILB).
61. Jacksonville Jaguars: (OT) Jamarco Jones (Ohio State): Already selected James Washington (WR).
62. Minnesota Vikings: (CB) DJ Reed (Kansas State): Already selected Will Hernandez (OG).
63. New England Patriots: (OLB) Malik Jefferson (Texas): Already selected Josh Rosen (QB) and Jaire Alexander (CB).
64. Cleveland Browns: (WR) Auden Tate (Florida State): Already selected, Sam Darnold (QB), Mike McGlinchey (OT), Denzel Ward (CB), Kolton Miller (OT), Justin Reid (FS), and Mark Andrews (TE).
Round 3 will be posted tomorrow