2018 NFL Mock Draft

Posted on April 19, 2018

6. Indianapolis Colts (from Jets): Bradley Chubb, Defensive End, NC State

The Colts, in their trade with the Jets, moved down three slots to the sixth overall pick and are still able to get one of the players that they likely would have taken had they stayed put at the third pick.  Bradley Chubb will provide elite pass-rush ability to a defense that is in desperate need of an identity.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Minkah Fitzpatrick, Defensive Back, Alabama

The Buccaneers, although likely targeting Quenton Nelson or Bradley Chubb to address one of their two biggest weaknesses, can not be too mad in settling for arguably the best defensive back, or even defensive player, in this draft. Fitzpatrick’s versatility, being able to play cornerback or safety, is essential to a defense who could not get off the field to allow Jameis Winston take over the game.

8. Chicago Bears: Tremaine Edmunds, Linebacker, Virginia Tech

The Chicago Bears have had a lot of success when it comes to having a defensive star at the linebacker position, dating back to Mike Singletary and more recently with Brian Urlacher.  They look for a similar type of impact from the Virginia Tech linebacker who impressed many at the draft combine, establishing himself as the highest-rated linebacker in this draft.

9. San Francisco 49ers: Denzel Ward, Defensive Back, Ohio St.

After the acquisition of Richard Sherman, star cornerback from the long-time rival Seattle Seahawks, the 49ers enhance the secondary for the future with Denzel Ward. Ward provides an option for the future to take over in the secondary for years to come, as an aging Sherman might not be apart of the 49ers in the long haul.

10. Oakland Raiders: Roquan Smith, Linebacker, Georgia

The Raiders’ biggest need is at the linebacker position and Roquan Smith provides tremendous talent plus experience in big college games. The injury concerns forced him to fall under Tremaine Edmunds on most draft boards, but the Raiders, with this pick, fill an obvious void in the defense that held them back so severely.

11. Arizona Cardinals (from proposed Dolphins trade): Baker Mayfield, Quarterback, Oklahoma

The Cardinals give up their 15th overall pick, as well as the 97th overall pick in the 3rd round and the 152nd pick in the 5th round, to move up four slots to snag their possible future franchise icon in Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield.  As a player, the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner has elite accuracy, decent athleticism, and great leadership, but has obvious knocks on him such as his size and a few off-field instances. However, the Cardinals are desperate for a long-term quarterback solution, and take the chance on Mayfield.

12.   New York Giants (proposed Bills trade via Bengals): Joshua Jackson, Defensive Back, Iowa

After acquiring much draft pick currency, the Giants can look to fill some of the voids that they currently have on their roster, and one of those positions of need is at cornerback. After releasing Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and the Eli Apple disaster, the Giants look to fill the void with Joshua Jackson, who will help press the reset button for the Giants’ defense.

13. Washington Redskins: Marcus Davenport, Defensive End, Texas-San Antonio

The Washington Redskins have been strongly looking into defensive linemen and pass-rushers in the offseason. Marcus Davenport, the second best defensive end in the draft falls into the Redskins’ laps, as they begin to build a defense to begin the Alex Smith era in the nation’s capital.

14. Green Bay Packers: Derwin James, Defensive Back, Florida St.

Florida State’s star safety Derwin James will alleviate the loss of Morgan Burnett in a Packers’ secondary that has struggled to identify future young talent.  The Packers hope to fortify the secondary and improve their defense, which has been Green Bay’s downfall in recent years.

15. Miami Dolphins (proposed Cardinals trade):Vita Vea, Defensive Tackle, Washington

The Dolphins look to draft a nose tackle after releasing Ndamukong Suh, and Vea will attempt to bring a strength on the interior line to a team that is in desperate need of an identity and culture change.  The Dolphins have many needs, but Vea will provide a reliable impact player for years to come.

16. Baltimore Ravens: Calvin Ridley, Wide Receiver, Alabama

The Baltimore Ravens’ aging defense can no longer carry them to playoff contention; therefore, they must have an upgrade at the skill positions. The acquisitions of Michael Crabtree and John Brown will not put the Ravens over the top, but Ridley gives Joe Flacco another target for the Ravens to make one last push in the playoffs.

 

17. Los Angeles Chargers: Leighton Vander Esch, Linebacker, Boise State

The Chargers are a team whose championship window is close to the end with the aging of Philip Rivers, but their 9-3 record in the last 12 games of the season make it seem as if the Chargers are looking to make a playoff push next season.  Vander Esch, the linebacker drawing Luke Kuechly comparisons can help the Chargers form a dominant defense to push them over the top.

18. Seattle Seahawks: Mike McGlinchey, Offensive Tackle, Notre Dame

The Seahawks are in a chaotic state when it comes to their roster, exemplified by the horrid offensive line the Seahawks trotted onto the field in 2017.  Mike McGlinchey will help begin the rebuild with an impact starter who can play for the next decade.

19. Dallas Cowboys: Da’Ron Payne, Defensive Tackle, Alabama

America’s team has a great young offensive core that could soon lead them to a Super Bowl.  However, the defense is still young and is in need of a few more positions with holes to fill.  Payne brings a big presence at the nose tackle that will help the up-and-coming defense rush the quarterback.

20. Detroit Lions: Derrius Guice, Running Back, LSU

The Lions have failed to establish a running game for years. The acquisition of LeGarrette Blount is only a temporary solution to the problem created by the failed draft picks at the position, such as Ameer Abdullah.  Guice will hopefully take the reigns as the leading back in Detroit when Blount’s time is up, and give Matthew Stafford and the Lions’ offense the running game to push them over the edge.

21. Cincinnati Bengals (via Bills): Will Hernandez, Offensive Guard, Texas-El Paso

Cincinnati is in a state of rebuilding while also trying to compete.  In the 2017 offseason, the Bengals essentially let go of their entire offensive line in free agency, and the offense suffered massive struggles in the 2017 season.  The Bengals traded down to acquire tackle Cordy Glenn, but the guard position is in need, and Hernandez is an underrated prospect that will help protect Andy Dalton and allow Joe Mixon to flourish.

22. New York Giants (from proposed Bills trade via Chiefs): Isaiah Wynn, Offensive Guard, Georgia

The addition of Nate Solder can not be the only acquisition to help the offensive line in New York.  In order for a run game to be established in New York, the interior offensive line must be upgraded. Wynn will make up for some of the losses that the Giants suffered to their interior line this free agency period.

23. New England Patriots (via Rams): Taven Bryan, Defensive Tackle, Florida

After acquiring this pick in the Brandin Cooks trade with Los Angeles, the Patriots look to load up on the defense that betrayed them in Super Bowl LII.  Although the defense is not strong as a whole, the powerhouse teams in the league have a strong run game and a good offensive line to protect the quarterback.  The Patriots take Bryan with undeniable physical tools to stop the run and rush the quarterback, and is sure to develop under Bill Belichick.

24. Carolina Panthers: Isaiah Oliver, Defensive Back, Colorado

Ever since the departure of Josh Norman following Cam Newton and the Panthers’ historic 15-1 season in 2015, they have been looking for the star corner to replace him and fortify their secondary.  Isaiah Oliver gives the Panthers that hope of a star cornerback that can bring them back to Super Bowl contention while Newton can still carry the offensive load.

25.  Tennessee Titans: Rashaan Evans, Linebacker, Alabama

The Titans made themselves busy in free agency, particularly when acquiring former New England Patriots RB Dion Lewis and CB Malcolm Butler.  Despite the additions, the Titans seem to be a team that is not elite in any particular level of their team, therefore not having a clear identity.  Evans gives them the linebacker with star potential, and with the possibility of creating a scary defense at in the Music City.

26. Atlanta Falcons: Maurice Hurst, Defensive Tackle, Michigan
The Falcons stumbled into the playoffs and came close to eliminating the eventual Super Bowl Champion, Philadelphia Eagles, the year after the historic Super Bowl meltdown.  Two pieces on the defensive line who helped them make those playoff runs, Adrian Clayborn and Dontari Poe, both left in free agency, so the Falcons look to reload the line with youth, and attempt to put Atlanta over the top.

27. Miami Dolphins (from proposed Saints trade): Lamar Jackson, Quarterback, Louisville

Miami could be looking to replace Ryan Tannehill after missing the entirety of the 2017 season with a torn ACL, and had not shown the improvement that Miami hoped for when they took him with the eighth pick in 2012.  Lamar Jackson will not need to start for Miami right away, and will can begin the hefty rebuild that will need to take place in Miami.

28. Pittsburgh Steelers: Kolton Miller, Offensive Tackle, UCLA

The loss of tackle Chris Hubbard to up-and-coming division rival Cleveland Browns leaves a hole at the tackle position for Pittsburgh.  Kolton Miller will bring the desired size for protecting an aging Ben Roethlisberger to keep the Steelers’ offense at a Super Bowl level, especially against the furious pass rushes of Cleveland, Cincinnati, and Baltimore.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars: Orlando Brown, Offensive Tackle, Oklahoma

The Jaguars are another tough prediction, as there are almost no positions of need on the defensive end except for linebacker, where the first round talent linebackers are off the board, so the offense is likely to be worked on with this pick.  The Jaguars have a surplus of young receivers who show upside, but none who have produced to expectations until now, and the running back tandem of Leonard Fournette and T.J. Yeldon are the strong suit of this offense.

The team seems to believe in Blake Bortles enough to not take a quarterback, so the offensive line is the position to work on, and with the failure of Luke Joeckel from the 2013 Draft leaves the left tackle a position of need, so the Jaguars gamble on the tackle who tanked his stock in the Draft Combine, but excelled at the collegian level, to help put their offense over the top.

30. Minnesota Vikings: Billy Price, Center, Ohio St.

The Vikings are a Super Bowl contender, and only weakness is the offensive line unit.  Billy Price, despite the injury suffered at the Draft Combine, is worth the selection to protect new quarterback Kirk Cousins, and allow Dalvin Cook to return safely from his ACL tear last season.

31. New England Patriots: Mason Rudolph, Quarterback, Oklahoma St.

With their second of two first round picks, the Patriots should avoid the same mistake that they made with Jimmy Garoppolo, and draft the quarterback in the first round to allow themselves an extra year on their contract.

It is uncertain to everyone how much longer Tom Brady will play, so the young reliever must be in place if any unexpected instance were to happen to him.  Rudolph can be developed into a quarterback used to running New England’s offense under Brady and Bill Belichick’s tutelage, and could be Brady’s successor in the Evil Empire.

32. Indianapolis Colts (from proposed Eagles trade): Ronald Jones II, Running Back, USC

The Colts should look to trade back up to the first round to land the home-run hitter out of USC, as their running game is depleted with the loss of the ageless Frank Gore.  Indianapolis should look for this home-run hitter, as the offensive line for the Colts is among the bottom of the league, and without many other playmakers on offense.

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