NFL Mock Drafts

2019 NFL Mock Draft 1.1

Update: April 25, 2019

1. Arizona Cardinals: Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State
I have to give the Browns and Cardinals credit, back to back years where we have no idea who’s going number one. I got the first pick wrong last year and probably will this year. But, I’m sticking Nick Bosa at one. I’m keeping the faith with Rosen and Nick Bosa would be a great compliment to Chandler Jones. Bosa’s quickness, power, and strength as a pass rusher gives you a lot to love.


2. San Francisco 49ers: Quinnen Williams, DL, Alabama
This pick could get weird. I wanted to give the 49ers Josh Allen because it fills a more pressing need, but I feel Quinnen Williams and Nick Bosa are the two “can’t miss” prospects. Playing alongside DeForest Buckner, Williams should have an immediate impact his rookie season. He’s a high effort lineman with an incredible mixture of quickness and power.


3. New York Jets: Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky
If the Jets stay put I’d be surprised if they didn’t go defense at number three. There’s some Ed Oliver talk out there, but many speculate it to be a smokescreen. Whether it’s edge rusher or defensive line, New York’s defense needs some juice. Josh Allen can be a cornerstone piece on defense. Allen’s capable of dropping into coverage and obviously thrives as a rusher. His play speed is out of this world good and he has a nice set of countermoves. He lacks discipline at times but the tools are there to be the next big pass rusher.


4. Oakland Raiders: Ed Oliver, DL, Houston
The Raiders have to address nearly all aspects of their defense this year. Bolstering their defensive line makes the most sense because of how often they struggled to create pressure. An undersized but ferocious defender, Ed Oliver would be an instant impact player for the Raiders. Oliver was a constant playmaker at Houston who lived in the backfield. He was a phenomenal tackler whose quickness is tough to match.


5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Devin White, LB, LSU
A linebacking group that was already struggling got even worse this offseason after losing Kwon Alexander. Linebacker is rather thin in this year’s draft so Tampa Bay may be aggressive early to solidify the position. Devin White’s speed separates him instantly from most linebackers and makes him a perfect fit for today’s game. White also displayed great intelligence and was comfortable in pass coverage. Assuming he can clean up his tackling, White can be a special player.


6. New York Giants: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
Most assume the Giants will grab their quarterback of the future in this year’s draft; with Kyler Murray being the dream scenario. Assuming teams are comfortable with his stature, Murray has the tools to be a good pro. He’s capable of making plays with his feet (solid at avoiding brutal hits), has a strong arm, and displayed good accuracy as well. He some minor flaws as passer though. I particularly want to see him improve his placement and lead his receivers better in the NFL.


7. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jonah Williams, OL, Alabama
The Jaguars offensive line struggled this past season. There’s the obvious assumption they’ll strengthen their line to improve Foles’s chances of success in Jacksonville. A versatile and refined prospect, Jonah Williams can step in immediately at either tackle or guard. Williams’s technique is some of the strongest in the draft and he was a reliable blocker in both the pass and run game.


8. Detroit Lions: TJ Hockenson, TE, Iowa
Eric Ebron failed in Detroit so there’s a chance they may be gunshy about another tight end early. But, I feel it’d be difficult to pass on someone like Hockenson after watching him. He’s easily the most complete tight end in the draft. A force as a blocker and a pass-catcher. Hockenson was also one of the toughest tackles in college football.


9. Buffalo Bills: Jawaan Taylor, OL, Florida
The obvious goal of any team after drafting a young quarterback is to protect him. Jawaan Taylor is one of the most athletic tackles in the draft and would start right away at right tackle for Buffalo. Taylor pairs his athleticism with intimidating power. This combination helps make him one of the top pass blocker in this year’s class.


10. Denver Broncos: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
Denver invested a lot of time and energy in scouting this year’s group of quarterbacks. You can make the argument that Joe Flacco is a capable starter for a couple of years so Denver can take a chance on a raw prospect. Drew Lock has some great traits such as a lightning quick release, great athleticism, and a passion for football. However, he still has loads to improve upon with an emphasis on his pocket presence and awareness.


11. Cincinnati Bengals: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
Andy Dalton has tailed off and Cincinnati may be looking for a fresh face at quarterback. Dwayne Haskins is comfortably my top quarterback in this year’s draft. There’s certainly the risk of him having only a year of film, but I can appreciate his growth throughout the season. If anything a year on the bench behind Dalton may benefit him. Haskins has a good arm and is accurate as well.


12. Green Bay Packers: Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State
I’d be surprised if the Packers don’t go pass rusher with one of their first round picks. They made a couple of nice signings in Za’Darius Smith and Preston Smith, but the importance of getting to the quarterback cannot be stressed enough. Brian Burns is an athletic pass rusher with a great first step. Burns also has great intelligence as a defender and a diverse set of rushes/countermoves.


13. Miami Dolphins: Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson
The Miami Dolphins ranked near the bottom of the league at run defense last year. An early pick to address their interior line makes sense at 13, especially if Christian Wilkins slides this far. Wilkins is one of my favorite defensive prospects. His athleticism, power, and energy levels make him so difficult to block. He also has outstanding awareness and was fantastic at getting his hands up to make passes more difficult for the quarterback.


14. Atlanta Falcons: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
The Falcons came into the offseason thin at cornerback depth and made no moves to alleviate the issue in free agency. Greedy Williams is up there as one of the most debated prospects in the draft. There’s no denying his talent. When he’s going 100%, he has clear shutdown corner potential. His length, athleticism, and coverage skills are all that you want out of a corner. But, there’s been multiple cases where he tended to fade as games went on and allow easy passes he’s capable of defending. If a team’s confident they can motivate him, Williams has huge potential.


15. Washington Redskins: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
Josh Norman is in his 30s and Quinton Dunbar will be entering the 2019 season coming off a season-ending leg injury, so depth at corner is warranted. From a coverage perspective, Byron Murphy is probably the most pro-ready corner in the draft. Murphy’s comfortable following the quarterback’s eyes and made multiple big plays on third downs and late-game situations. I do want to see him improve his physicality though. I wasn’t terribly impressed with his tackling or ability to shed blockers.


16. Carolina Panthers: Andre Dillard, OL, Washington State
Protecting Cam Newton will be a top priority for Carolina after what happened to their season after his injury. Andre Dillard’s a high upside tackle with incredible size and athleticism. He’s a high-energy player with a strong blocking style. His technique is a little raw but that’s largely due to the offense he’s coming out of.


17. New York Giants: Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson
This pick remains the same because of how atrocious New York’s pass rush was last year. Clelin Ferrell would provide an immediate boost to New York’s defense. His physicality as a defender is incredible and he plays with great intelligence. Ferrell’s motor is what you want out of an EDGE rusher and he does the little things well like cutting off the checkdown for quarterbacks.


18. Minnesota Vikings: Garrett Bradbury, OL, NC State
Minnesota’s offensive line was dreadful last year and is clearly limiting them. Interior line is a particularly glaring need for the Vikings who will likely go best offensive linemen available at 18. Garrett Bradbury has day-one starter potential. He’s an athletic center with great strength as a blocker. Selecting Bradbury will allow them to slide Pat Elfein to guard who has experience at the position from his time at Ohio State.


19. Tennessee Titans: Dexter Lawrence, DL, Clemson
Tennessee needs a serious boost to the interior of their defensive line. Dexter Lawrence is a massive nose tackle with surprising quickness. Lawrence uses his size to his advantage and is capable of just driving opposing linemen backwards. To reach another level, he’ll have to diversify his pass rush. He tended to rely too heavily on his power to create pressure.


20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan
I personally have Devin Bush ranked above Devin White. He may be undersized, but I feel his intelligence and play style allowed him to overcome it. Bush was used multiple ways at Michigan and was effective as a blitzer thanks to his quickness. He’s great at recognizing plays and has strong closing speed. Bush was also comfortable dropping into coverage and was a much stronger tackler than White. He’d be a slam dunk at 20 for a team that’s had a huge hole at linebacker for a couple of years.


21. Seattle Seahawks: N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State
Fresh off of re-signing Russell Wilson, the Seahawks will look to surround him with more weapons. N’Keal Harry is a strong and physical receiver who is not afraid to make catches in traffic. Harry has terrific hands and makes solid adjustments on passes which allow him to overcome his lack of elite speed. He’ll also earn coaches respect for his effort as a run blocker.


22. Baltimore Ravens: Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma
The Ravens usually aren’t huge on drafting guys with an injury history, but they may make an exception for Hollywood. By far my favorite receiver in the draft, Brown brings a lot to the table. He’s a strong route runner with elite speed which makes him one of the most dangerous players in the open field. He makes perfect sense for a team going all in on Lamar Jackson.


23. Houston Texans: Cody Ford, OL, Oklahoma
The Texans need to invest some serious resources into protecting Deshaun Watson. Cody Ford is capable of playing either tackle or guard in the NFL. He’s a great athlete with domineering size. Ford’s a power blocker who can absolutely dominate opposing linemen.


24. Oakland Raiders: Montez Sweat, EDGE, Texas A&M
Montez Sweat would be a steal at 24 for the Raiders. Sweat has the ideal skill set for a pass rusher. He’s very long and plays with power. Sweat displayed a strong initial burst and did an excellent job of reading plays as they developed. He has some technical aspects of his game to clean up, but the tools are there.


25. Philadelphia Eagles: Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan
The Eagles are always fans of having a deep defensive line rotation. Rashan Gary has some medical red flags, hence the drop, but I still feel he’s likely to go in the first round. Gary’s first step and athleticism jump out right away. These traits allow his speed rushes to be extremely effective and he has terrific closing speed. I would like to see Gary diversify his countermoves to better increase in production in the NFL.


26. Indianapolis Colts: DK Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
The Colts could use an upgrade at number two receiver. DK Metcalf is a physical specimen who is an absolute beast in the open field. His size, speed, and physicality make him a very tough cover. He’s still a little raw and requires some patience, but the upside’s there if he can improve his hands and technique.


27. Oakland Raiders: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
Oakland may look towards surrounding Derek Carr with some new weapons to improve upon his tough 2018 campaign. Noah Fant is an extremely athletic tight end who was comfortable lining out wide or playing inline. He did struggle with drops during his career which may be a cause for concern for some teams.


28. Los Angeles Chargers: Jerry Tillery, DL, Notre Dame
The Chargers could use a couple of upgrades to their defensive line. Jerry Tillery is a long defensive line who uses his strength to create pressure. He packs a strong punch which allows him to maintain separation from opposing linemen. He’s still a bit raw and will need to improve his technique and leverage to become a better player.


29. Seattle Seahawks: Chase Winovich, EDGE, Michigan
With the Frank Clark trade, pass rusher becomes a pressing need for Seattle. If I wanted to go the NFL cliche route, I’d talk about Chase Winovich’s grit. And hey, he’s got a lot of it. Winovich isn’t the most athletically gifted rusher but he’s sound in technique and does an exceptional job diagnosing plays. He won’t set the league on fire, but he should be a reliable player on any defense.


30. Green Bay Packers: AJ Brown, WR, Ole Miss
The Packers may want a more reliable receiver to pair with Davante Adams instead of a couple of mid-round players. AJ Brown was very effective at creating separation at Ole Miss. Brown was also great at positioning and body control. I’m a fan of his route running and he was a dangerous player in the open field. I do want to see more sustained effort out of him, he had a tendency to take broken plays off.


31. Los Angeles Rams: Dalton Risner, OL, Kansas State
The Rams lost a couple of offensive linemen to free agency this year. Dalton Risner is a versatile lineman who is capable of playing all three positions. Risner’s sound fundamentally and was effective in all phases as a blocker. His power as a blocker allows him to control opposing linemen with ease.


32. New England Patriots: Deebo Samuel, WR, South Carolina
Deebo Samuel has some of the best hands in the draft. Samuel’s effort is incredible and he’s more than willing to make catches in heavy traffic. He’s an insanely competitive receiver who also did a great job getting yards after the catch. He’ll have to clean up his route running some; but with the receiving group the Patriots have now, he should be an instant contributor.

2019 NFL Mock Draft 1.0

Updated: April 22, 2019

1. Arizona Cardinals: Nick Bosa, EDGE, Ohio State
I’d be hard-pressed to believe the Cardinals are willing to give up on Josh Rosen so quickly. Granted, I was a big Rosen guy last year and personally believe he’d be the top quarterback in this year’s class. Allowing my biases to sway me, I’ll give the Cardinals what I think is the “right” pick.

Nick Bosa is an incredible prospect with a well-rounded skill set. He has great quickness and dominating power as a rusher. Bosa’s awareness is another positive of his game. The Cardinals signed Brooks Reed and Terrell Suggs this offseason, but both are over 30. I imagine they want to add a long-term EDGE rusher to play opposite of Chandler Jones.


2. San Francisco 49ers: Quinnen Williams, DL, Alabama
This pick leaves the 49ers in an awkward spot. They’ve invested heavily in their defensive line in recent drafts and are more in need of a pass rusher as opposed to another lineman. But, I feel the gap between Quinnen Williams and Josh Allen is too steep to select the latter over the former.

Quinnen Williams has all-pro potential. Essentially any trait describing his game has a positive adjective in front of it. Williams was in constant demand of double-teams at Alabama thanks to his size, quickness, and strong mixture of pass rushing moves. He deserves credit for staying steady throughout games and maintaining a reputation as a hardworking lineman.


3. New York Jets: Josh Allen, EDGE, Kentucky
The Jets are slowly improving this offseason, but there’s still work to be done. The Jets have a lot of intriguing options with this pick. They have the potential to trade down and add TJ Hockenson or Jonah Williams/Jawaan Taylor to bolster their support system around Sam Darnold. If they should stay put, I see them going pass rusher. Their pressure on defense was abysmal and only mustered middling 39 sacks this past season.

Josh Allen brings a lot to the table with his speed jumping out right away. Allen isn’t solely reliant on his quickness for success as a rusher. He has a diverse group of moves and his power is on display frequently. He’s comfortable dropping into coverage and does a great job getting his hands up on plays he’s blocked out of.


4. Oakland Raiders: Devin White, LB, LSU
If this was 2009 I’d make the tired joke about the Raiders solely drafting someone because of their athleticism. But it’s not, and the Raiders are in desperate need of talent at linebacker. Both Brandon Marshall and Vontaze Burfict are merely stopgaps. With three picks in the first round, it’d be surprising if they didn’t select either White or Devin Bush in the first round.

I’m more bearish on Devin White than some, but I certainly see the upside of him. His speed is incredible and fits perfectly with today’s game. He’s intelligent and was comfortable dropping into coverage. I’m just worried about his tackling. If he continues to arm-tackle at the next level, this pick could be a major misfire for Oakland.


5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Ed Oliver, DL, Houston
It’s not a secret that Tampa Bay’s defense was dreadful last year. They lack depth at many positions and in particular their defensive line needs special attention.

Ed Oliver would offer a much-needed boost to their defense. Teams will be willing to ignore his size because of his playmaking ability he displayed constantly throughout games. Oliver lived in the backfield and has a scary combination of speed and power.


6. New York Giants: Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma
I’ll give the Giants the benefit of the doubt and choose to believe they don’t really see Eli Manning as their quarterback for the next couple of seasons. This isn’t the greatest quarterback class in the world, but there’s certainly talent with franchise potential.

Kyler Murray unsurprisingly is the most dynamic quarterback in the draft. His improv skills were unmatched in college and he has the arm strength and accuracy you want out of a quarterback. Assuming the Giants are comfortable with his size, he’d be another exciting offensive piece to pair with Saquon Barkley.


7. Jacksonville Jaguars: TJ Hockenson, TE, Iowa
This is a pick the Jaguars shouldn’t overthink. Their tight end play was terrible last year and you’d imagine they have their minds set on surrounding newly-signed Nick Foles with some offensive talent.

TJ Hockenson was one of the most enjoyable prospects to watch. There were times it almost seemed unfair to throw to him; he was that dominate. Hockenson is a well-rounded prospect who’s strong in blocking and has exceptional hands. He’s also a threat after the catch, often times requiring multiple guys to bring him down.


8. Detroit Lions: Jonah Williams, OL, Alabama
With TJ Lang retiring, the Lions are likely to look for a replacement as opposed to relying on Kenny Wiggins again. Wiggins struggled last year filling in for an injured Lang.

Jonah Williams is a refined offensive line prospect. He’s capable of playing either tackle or guard. Williams has great technique and is strong in the run game. Playing in the SEC, he’s had plenty of experience against some of the top defensive linemen in this year’s draft.


9. Buffalo Bills: Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson
Star Lotulelei is a solid lineman and does a good job plugging up the middle. But, it was evident watching the Bills that they struggled to get consistent interior pressure.

One of my favorite prospects in the draft, Christian Wilkins was a headache for opposing offenses. Wilkins is an active defensive lineman with great awareness. He was a threat both through creating pressure and batting down balls at the line of scrimmage (15 times during his career).


10. Denver Broncos: Dwayne Haskins, QB, Ohio State
Denver can be difficult to get a grasp of. It’s feasible they believe Joe Flacco is a fine option at quarterback for next season. After all, their defense is strong and they just need average quarterback play to be a potential wildcard team. Still, I do feel it’s fair to assume that either this year or next year the Broncos will take another crack at finding their quarterback of the future.

Dwayne Haskins is my number one quarterback of the draft. He’s raw, but he has most of the tools you want out of a quarterback. His accuracy is great and he has terrific ball placement. Haskins also has an NFL arm. He’s certainly a risk with only one year of film, but I found it encouraging to see his continued growth throughout the season.


11. Cincinnati Bengals: Jawaan Taylor, OL, Florida
Even after re-signing Bobby Hart, the Bengals should look towards bolstering their offensive line. Right tackle was a major issue for them this past season and could limit their playoff chances next year if it goes unaddressed in the draft.

Jawaan Taylor has one of the best physical profiles in the draft with particular emphasis on his athleticism. Taylor’s an experienced lineman who blocks with pure power. He’s one of the top pass-blocking tackles in this year’s class.


12. Green Bay Packers: Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State
With Clay Matthews and Nick Perry gone, EDGE rusher will be a top need for the Packers. Ted Thompson’s a huge fan of quickness and Brian Burns seems like the ideal prospect for Green Bay.

Brian Burns is a fluid defender who is effective in creating pressure through inside and outside rushes. He has a beautiful swim move and has little difficulty separating from linemen. Burns is an intelligent defender and is comfortable reading a quarterback as well.


13. Miami Dolphins: Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State
With Cameron Wake leaving in free agency, the Dolphins will be looking for his replacement. Their current group of pass rushers doesn’t offer much and places a sense of urgency in addressing the position.

Montez Sweat’s heart condition is a scary issue. If teams are comfortable with his long-term outlook as a pro, he’s a no-brainer in the first round. Sweat’s a long defender with a great initial burst. He has the strength to shed blockers and was efficient in reading plays. He’s not the most fluid defender though, and his play style can be a bit clunky at times. He’ll also have to work on diversifying his moves as he tended to be too reliant on his speed.


14. Atlanta Falcons: Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State
The Falcons have the talent to be a playoff team, but it’s a matter of keeping Matt Ryan upright. They’re in for a rude awakening if they think starting Ty Sambrailo at right tackle is going to cut it.

Andre Dillard has some work to do in regards to his technique. Overall, he has the tools to be a cornerstone piece of any offensive line. Dillard’s a high-effort tackle whose athleticism pairs nicely with his domineering size. He can be an instant starter for the Falcons at right tackle.


15. Washington Redskins: Drew Lock, QB, Missouri
It shouldn’t take a long look at the Redskins quarterback room to realize they’ll need to address the position sooner rather than later.

Drew Lock is a risk, to say the least. It’s clear he has the tools: strong arm, athletic, great size, and a passion for football. On the flipside, he has dreadful pocket presence, wild ball placement, and a tendency to hold onto the ball for far too long. It’s encouraging to see his continual progress over the course of his college career, but he still has a long ways to go.


16. Carolina Panthers: Greedy Williams, CB, LSU
The Panthers are in need of depth at cornerback. Ross Cockrell suffered a gruesome leg injury and is still a bit of a question mark. If the Panthers suffer any other injuries to their cornerback group their pass defense has the potential to be dreadful.

Greedy Williams is a mixed bag as a prospect. There are obvious concerns about his toughness. It’s also difficult to ignore how often he tended to fade as games went along. If he can stay motivated, he has real potential to be the next shutdown corner. He’s shown plenty of instances where he excels in pass coverage and his length is ideal as well.


17. New York Giants: Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson
The New York Giants front seven as a whole needs to be improved. Their defense had a disappointing 30 sacks last season, which ranked them as one of the bottom three teams in the league. An EDGE rusher is a likely option at either of their first round picks.

Clelin Ferrell can be a game changer in the NFL. He has a great motor and a strong initial burst. His intelligence as a defender in on display constantly. He capable of contributing on run defense and even did a solid job of covering guys in the backfield to cut off any potential checkdowns for quarterbacks.


18. Minnesota Vikings: Cody Ford, OL, Oklahoma
The Minnesota Vikings are in an awkward spot with their offensive line. There are some murmurs that they may be willing to push Riley Reif inside to guard, but I feel Reif is better suited staying outside. Fortunately, there’s a couple of versatile offensive line prospects in this year’s class for Minnesota.

Cody Ford would offer a big boost to Minnesota’s interior blocking. He’s a nice athlete and very effective as a pass blocker. His toughness is on display on any run play as he’s capable of just powering over opposing linemen.


19. Tennessee Titans: Garrett Bradbury, OL, NC State
Marcus Mariota struggled to stay on his feet last season and continued poor line play could really rattle his confidence as a quarterback. The Titans made a nice pickup in Rodger Saffold but would be wise to add another interior lineman to pair with him.

Garrett Bradbury is one of the top center prospects in the draft. He has terrific mobility and is stellar in pass coverage. He’s not the most physical blocker so he may need help against bigger linemen.


20. Pittsburgh Steelers: Devin Bush, LB, Michigan
Ever since Ryan Shazier’s injury, linebacker has been a pressing need for the Steelers. This isn’t the strongest linebacker class so Pittsburgh would be wise to be aggressive in pursuing either Devin White or Devin Bush.

A favorite of mine, Devin Bush did a terrific job of overcoming his small stature. Bush has great speed and was effective as a blitzer. He’s a strong tackle, comfortable in coverage, and fundamentally sound. With the game relying more on speed, I think Bush will be capable of overcoming his size and become a reliable three-down linebacker.


21. Seattle Seahawks: Rashan Gary, DL, Michigan
There have been rumors swirling that the Seahawks are considering trading Frank Clark. Assuming it’s true, they’d need to look for a replacement early. An even if it isn’t the case, Seattle doesn’t have a particularly strong option to play opposite of Clark.

There’s a lot to love and a lot to hate about Rashan Gary. He has the size and athleticism all coaches desire. His initial burst and closing speed are top level and Gary’s reliable in run defense. The tools are there, but he really needs to refine his craft as a pass rusher. Too often he relies purely on his speed and offers little in regards to hand-fighting or countermoves.


22. Baltimore Ravens: N’Keal Harry, WR, Arizona State
With the Ravens moving all in on Lamar Jackson, it only makes sense to surround him with talent. It may come as a surprise that I don’t have them going DK Metcalf here, but typically the Ravens avoid prospects with injury histories. Metcalf’s neck may be enough to scare them away.

N’Keal Harry seems like an ideal fit for Baltimore’s offense. He’s a tough and physical receiver who’s capable of making catches in traffic. His speed and power also make him a threat after the catch. The Ravens will also appreciate his ability as a run-blocker as well.


23. Houston Texans: Byron Murphy, CB, Washington
The Texans secondary is in desperate need of help. Houston added Bradley Roby in free agency; however, he struggled in Denver this past season. They’ll likely look towards adding some insurance in case Roby’s struggles continue.

Byron Murphy is terrific in pass coverage. Regularly shadowing his opponent, Murphy has fantastic instincts. He was able to snag four interceptions in 2018 and was a major threat with the ball in his hands. I would like to see him improve his tackling though, I felt it could be a little finesse at times.


24. Oakland Raiders: Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
With Jared Cook heading to New Orleans the Raiders will have to spend some of their draft capital on his future replacement. It was evident how much Carr leaned on him last season, so it’d be difficult to see Oakland’s offense having any success without a competent tight end.

Drops remain a concern for Noah Fant, but I see a lot of teams looking past that because of his physical profile. He has incredible speed and athleticism which makes him a major threat after the catch. Fant is a competent blocker and is capable of splitting out wide as well. He has the potential to be the centerpiece of a great offense.


25. Philadelphia Eagles: Jeffery Simmons, DL, Mississippi State
Fletcher Cox is one of the premier linemen in the NFL, but outside of him, the Eagles don’t have a ton of depth. Philadelphia is at their best when they’re able to rotate linemen and keep their best guys fresh.

This pick kind of contradicts what I just said, because Jeffery Simmons is recovering from an ACL tear. But, at pick 25 someone with the talent of Simmons may be too difficult to pass up. He’s a fantastic hand fighter and maintains separation from opposing linemen. He’s strong as a tackler and his size made him a constant candidate for double-teams.


26. Indianapolis Colts: Dexter Lawrence, DL, Clemson
Chris Ballard has stated that he wants the Colts to be known for their defensive and offensive lines. He knocked it out of the park with the Quenton Nelson selection last year, so I expect him to hope for the same results, only this time with a big-bodied defensive lineman.

Dexter Lawrence’s size is incredible and he can just drive opposing linemen at will. He has surprising quickness and deserves credit for having a consistent motor which can be rare for someone of his stature. I would like to see him diversify his countermoves instead of relying solely on his strength.


27. Oakland Raiders: Dalton Risner, OL, Kansas State
The Raiders moved on from Donald Penn and Kelechi Osemele this offseason, so I’d have to assume they’ll look to bolster their offensive line with one of their many first round picks.

Capable of playing all three positions, Dalton Risner is one of the most versatile prospects in the draft. Risner is a tough blocker with sound technique. He’s strong in pass protection and powerful in run blocking. An instant day one starter for the Raiders.


28. Los Angeles Chargers: Chris Lindstrom, OL, Boston College
The Chargers are likely to focus on adding to their offensive line this year, in particular in hopes of finding their long term solution at center. They may potentially need some help at guard as well, so versatility will be key.

Chris Lindstrom is capable of playing either guard or center for the Chargers. Lindstrom’s a great athlete and packs a strong punch as a blocker. He’s an intelligent player whose physical ability should allow him to overcome his lack of length.


29. Kansas City Chiefs: Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia
The Chiefs secondary is in desperate need of revamping and they weren’t able to make much noise in free agency. Kansas City will be looking for a tough and physical corner at the bottom of the first.

Deandre Baker’s a nice and well-rounded cornerback prospect. He’s great in coverage and comfortable hand fighting with receivers. His closing speed is great and does an outstanding job of watching the quarterback without losing his man. He’d be a huge upgrade for Kansas City.


30. Green Bay Packers: DK Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss
The Packers went with a couple of mid-round receivers last year. While they weren’t awful, I’d have to imagine they’ll be looking for more of a blue-chip prospect in this year’s draft.

DK Metcalf needs little introduction. His combine made a lot of noise, both good and bad. Watching him, you certainly understand the hype. His combo of speed and power is evident right away. He’s one of the most dangerous receivers in the open field and would pair nicely with Davante Adams.


31. Los Angeles Rams: Erik McCoy, OL, Texas A&M
The Los Angeles Rams offensive line is beginning to age, so they’re likely to look for some fresh talent to develop for the future. The loss of Rodger Saffold also places a heavy emphasis on adding a guard early.

Capable of playing either guard or center, Erik McCoy brings great versatility to any offensive line. Another SEC linemen that’s had plenty of experience going against some of the best prospects in the draft. McCoy has great athleticism and power as a blocker and is capable of being a day one starter in the NFL.


32. New England Patriots: AJ Brown, WR, Ole Miss
It’s an understatement to say the Patriots are thin at receiver. Demaryius Thomas was a recent signing, but he’s coming off of his 2nd Achilles injury and is in his 30s. It’s no guarantee he can be an effective receiver for New England.

AJ Brown has a nice set of skills. He’s a good route runner and displayed great body control at Ole Miss. Despite not being the biggest receiver, he was comfortable grabbing the ball in contested coverage. Brown was also regularly a threat after the catch.

2018 NFL Mock Draft 1.2

1. Cleveland Browns: Sam Darnold, QB, USC
I’m writing this late Wednesday, so if it leaks that this pick isn’t Sam Darnold overnight don’t yell at me. Or do. Either way, it’s still unclear where Cleveland wants to go with this pick. So I’ll go with my gut. Sam Darnold had a shaky year, but still has the highest upside among this year’s quarterbacks. When he’s in a rhythm he’s about as perfect as you can get at the position. If the Browns are convinced their coaching staff can help Darnold cut down on his turnovers and reach his peak form, he’s the no-brainer first pick.


2. New York Giants: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
It appears that the Giants aren’t sold on anyone in this year’s quarterback class. I’m inclined to believe them, because you’d at least expect them to lie in order to bait teams into trading up to number two. Saquon Barkley appears to be the favorite if they don’t go quarterback. Barkley is a generational talent who’s a homerun threat in both the run and pass game. He’d be a huge help to Eli Manning.


3. New York Jets: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
It appears the Jets have zeroed in on Baker Mayfield. Mayfield is my top quarterback in this year’s class. I feel he’s the right combination of upside and safety. He has an NFL arm, good mobility, and his accuracy is out of this world. With Bridgewater and McCown on the roster, the Jets don’t have to start Mayfield right away but I expect him to seriously compete for the week one starting job.


4. Cleveland Browns: Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State
I assume this pick is between Saquon Barkley and Bradley Chubb in that order. With Barkley off the board, the Browns “settle” for Chubb. Myles Garrett and Bradley Chubb together would be one intimidating duo. Pair that with Emmanuel Ogbah on rotational duty and the Browns have an exciting pass rush.


5. Denver Broncos: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
Case Keenum signing a two-year deal heavily implies Denver sees him as a stop-gap. And they can coach-speak Paxton Lynch all they want, but it doesn’t erase the pitiful start to his career. Josh Rosen isn’t flashy, but he’s the safest quarterback in the class. His mechanics are great and he’s displayed solid accuracy as well. He’s capable of starting right away, but a year on the bench wouldn’t hurt either.


6. Indianapolis Colts: Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame
I’ve yet to change this pick because it makes too much sense. Priority number one for the Colts has to be protecting Andrew Luck. Quenton Nelson is a generational guard prospect who has dominated opposing linemen his whole college career. Nelson is well-rounded in both pass and run blocking.


7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Derwin James, SS, Florida State
Tampa Bay’s pass defense was dreadful this year. In particular, they struggled covering running backs and tight ends. Derwin James is a perfect example of the modern day safety and would help them in that regard. He’s capable of playing either safety or hybrid linebacker. His athleticism is off the charts and his energetic play is difficult to ignore.


8. Chicago Bears: Harold Landry, EDGE, Boston College
The Chicago Bears could use another EDGE rusher to pair with Leonard Floyd. Harold Landry is an athletic and nimble pass rusher. His speed off the edge makes him a difficult block for opposing linemen. He struggled with injuries but his play did take a step back. Vic Fangio is a fantastic coach, so I assume the Bears are confident they can channel his junior year form.


9. San Francisco 49ers: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
The 49ers linebacking corps has been an issue these past few seasons. Tremaine Edmunds is a risky pick, but the payoff could be huge. He has great size and athleticism for linebacker. He’ll require patience, as he’s prone to biting on play-fakes and misdirections. Good coaching can correct this but it won’t happen overnight.


10. Oakland Raiders: Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
Oakland’s secondary was a glaring weakness this past season. They could use upgrades at most positions in their defensive backfield. Minkah Fitzpatrick is another jack of all trades type of prospect. He’s capable of playing corner, safety, and hybrid linebacker. In addition to his pass coverage, Fitzpatrick was competent in run support and strong as a blitzer.


11. Miami Dolphins: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
The Dolphins will have failed if they don’t address linebacker early in the draft. Especially if someone like Roquan Smith is on the board. Smith is a complete linebacker. He’s athletic, versatile, and a well-rounded defender. He thrives in pass coverage, something Miami’s linebackers were dreadful in. There’s not much you can’t ask him to do.


12. Buffalo Bills: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
I’ll try to keep this simple, because I could write a dissertation on Josh Allen. Allen’s accuracy is a big concern. His success in the NFL will rely on his ability to fix his accuracy issues. In watching him, the most noticeable and fixable cause of his inaccuracy is his poor mechanics. Good coaching will spot this right away and work with him on it. It’s just difficult to know whether clean mechanics will be enough to turn him into a reliable passer.


13. Washington Redskins: Vita Vea, DT, Washington
Nose tackle is a huge need for the Redskins, especially if the Giants select Saquon Barkley at number two. This may seem high for a guy who may not be a three down player in the NFL. But, Vita Vea would be an immediate upgrade at a dire need for the Redskins. He’s a big body who clogs up the middle. Vea isn’t a pass rusher by any means, but he demands double teams which helps free up his outside rushers.


14. Green Bay Packers: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
Tramon Williams was a solid signing, but Green Bay needs a long-term solution at corner. Denzel Ward does most things well. He plays tight coverage and is comfortable reading the quarterback’s eyes. Ward has great anticipation and is a great athlete as well. He’s not the strongest corner, so he’s best suited for playing inside.


15. Arizona Cardinals: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
Assuming Sam Bradford can stay healthy this would be a nice spot for Lamar Jackson. Jackson is the most dynamic quarterback in the draft. He has an NFL arm and had his fair share of impressive throws at Louisville. He’s still a little rough around the edges. His mechanics and footwork need major cleaning up. There’s some concerns about his accuracy, but I do feel most of his issues fall back on his poor mechanics.


16. Baltimore Ravens: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
The Ravens made a couple of signings at receiver this offseason, but still have an uninspiring group. Calvin Ridley can provide them a reliable number one option. Ridley is a well-rounded receiver with clean route running and reliable hands. He’s comfortable making adjustments on throws and displayed good football intelligence. His strength remains his biggest concern, it’s unlikely Ridley will be a threat after the catch.


17. Los Angeles Chargers: Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama
The Chargers need linebackers who are competent in pass coverage. Rashaan Evans is a smooth linebacker with great instincts. He’s comfortable following a play as it develops. Evans was great in run support and has experience picking up running backs on passing routes as well.


18. Seattle Seahawks: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
German Ifedi should never start at right tackle again. Connor McGlinchey is the best tackle in the draft. He’s experienced at both sides, but best suited as a right tackle. He was a major part of Notre Dame’s strong offensive line and was competent in both run and pass blocking.


19. Dallas Cowboys: D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland
Releasing Dez Bryant makes wide receiver the heavy favorite for the Cowboys first pick. D.J. Moore has the physical tools you want out of a receiver. Moore is strong and very fast. He uses his speed to blow by opposing corners. He’s elusive as well when he’s in the open field.


20. Detroit Lions: Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA
The Lions ranked 20th in sacks last year and could use a boost in that regard. Marcus Davenport is a raw prospect with tremendous upside. He’ll have to refine his game a bit and it’s warranted to worry that his collegiate success was due to him going against lesser competition. But in watching him, I was immediately impressed by his speed and explosiveness. Davenport also displayed a high motor and appears to have a strong work ethic which is encouraging for his development.


21. Cincinnati Bengals: James Daniels, C, Iowa
Cincinnati offensive line could use a complete overhaul. Center is probably the most glaring weakness. The top center in this year’s class is a toss-up between James Daniels, Billy Price, and Frank Ragnow. I lean Daniels in the end. I’m a fan of his technique and athleticism. He was also strong in both run and pass blocking. He can be a team’s anchor for 10+ years.


22. Buffalo Bills: Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State
Matt Milano is the sole linebacker worthy of a starting spot on the Bills roster. Leighton Vander Esch would be a welcomed addition to their linebacking corps. Vander Esch impresses scouts with his size, athleticism, and power. What’s even more impressive is despite being only a one-year starter, Vander Esch has displayed impressive instincts and awareness on the field. It makes you wonder how much better he can get.


23. New England Patriots: Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville
New England will likely go best player available at both picks. Fortunately, corner also covers a huge need for them as well. Jaire Alexander is a fantastic cover corner. He’s often step for step with receivers and is comfortable reading a quarterback’s eyes. Alexander also has great awareness and closing speed on underneath plays.


24. Carolina Panthers: Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
Josh Jackson would be a nice pairing with James Bradberry. Jackson is a raw prospect with a nice set of tools to work with. He’s an athletic and aggressive corner who burst onto the scene with 8 interceptions last year. He’s only a one year starter, so his tendency to be overaggressive is likely a sign of Jackson getting comfortable with the position. I expect him to strike a healthy balance between being smart and aggressive as he gains experience.


25. Tennessee Titans: Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
The Titans have been looking for the anchor of their defense these past couple of seasons. Da’Ron Payne may just be that guy. Payne is a massive defensive tackle who is strong in run defense. He has great awareness and athleticism as a defender. He showed some decent pass rushing moves, but it’s still a weakness. Good coaching could potentially develop that aspect of his game.


26. Atlanta Falcons: Will Hernandez, OG, UTEP
If the Falcons could improve their guard play, they have the making of one of the strongest offensive lines in the league. Will Hernandez is pure power as a blocker. He lacks ideal length, but his strength allows him to dominate opposing linemen. He’d be an instant starter for Atlanta.


27. New Orleans Saints: Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State
The Saints have a solid core of Alex Okafor and Cam Jordan, but you can never have too many pass rushers. I doubt Sam Hubbard is many people’s favorite pass rusher, but he’s well-rounded and gets the job done. On top of Hubbard’s great size, he also has an impressive motor and strong awareness as a defender.


28. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jessie Bates III, FS, Wake Forest
Morgan Burnett was a great pickup for the Steelers, but they could still use another safety to pair with him. Jessie Bates impressed me with his versatility. He was strong as a run defender and was comfortable covering receivers. His primary weakness is his lack of aggression. At times he fails to step up and make routine tackles. He’ll need to correct this to take the next step in his game.


29. Jacksonville Jaguars: Isaiah Wynn, OL, Georgia
The Jaguars have a pretty strong left side of their offensive line, but could use some upgrades on the right side. Isaiah Wynn is a versatile prospect who’s capable of playing all three positions. He’s best suited at guard. Wynn’s a solid blocker in both aspects, but particularly in run blocking.


30. Minnesota Vikings: Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA
With Mike Remmers likely moving inside to guard, the Vikings will need to grab a right tackle early in the draft. Kolton Miller is an intriguing prospect. He’s a bit raw, but scouts will fall in love with his length and athleticism. He also has experience playing both right and left tackle at UCLA.


31. New England Patriots: Taven Bryan, DL, Florida
The Patriots struggled to get pressure from their interior line. Taven Bryan is a raw prospect with the potential to be a deadly pass rusher. Bryan has fantastic quickness and is great at hitting his gaps. His versatility will be intriguing as well. He’s capable of playing inside or out on the defensive line.


32. Philadelphia Eagles: Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan
The Eagles can afford to go best player available at 32. A big reason they won the Super Bowl was because Philadelphia frequently won the battle in the trenches. Maurice Hurst has a pretty well-rounded game. He had a quick initial move and was a headache for teams as a pass rusher. I was also impressed with his awareness as a run defender as well.

2018 NFL Mock Draft 1.1

Updated: April 23, 2018

1. Cleveland Browns: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
The Browns are going with a quarterback. That’s a given. Who they’re going with, not so much. I mocked Sam Darnold to Cleveland in my previous mock and if I was a betting man I’d still go with Darnold. But, with rumors swirling, I figured I’d change it up a bit and entertain some other possibilities.

This pick will come down to either Darnold or Josh Allen. The two quarterbacks, to me, that have the most upside in the draft. Allen is bigger, more mobile, and has the stronger arm. Cleveland may feel Allen edges out Darnold for the highest potential. Allen does have a ton of work to do and would benefit from a year on the bench. With the addition of Tyrod Taylor, Cleveland can afford to do that. As I’ve stated before, Allen’s accuracy issues will make or break him. If his inaccuracy is due to poor mechanics, which is fixable, then Allen can surprise a lot of people.


2. New York Giants: Sam Darnold, QB, USC
The Browns picking Josh Allen at one would send shock waves through the draft. Sam Darnold appeared to be the only quarterback the Giants were in love with. With him available, New York passes on the big three position players which will have a huge impact on the top 10.

Sam Darnold struggled a bit this past season with turnovers. However, when he got into a rhythm he still looked very strong. Darnold displays great poise and accuracy. He has the mobility you want out of a quarterback and is comfortable throwing on the run. The type of offenses he can play in are limitless. Turnovers will remain his biggest concern. Many of his interceptions left you wondering what the hell he was thinking. A year behind Eli Manning may allow him the opportunity to find the cause of his increase in turnovers.


3. New York Jets: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
You don’t trade up to pick number three and not draft a quarterback. This pick will come down to either Josh Rosen or Baker Mayfield. I had Rosen here in my first mock. But, recent talk suggests that Mayfield has cemented himself as the Jets number one guy.

Baker Mayfield is my top quarterback in this year’s draft. He leans on the safer side of prospects while also having tremendous upside. His accuracy is deadly and he displayed solid mobility as well. Mayfield also has an NFL arm. His mechanics will need cleaning up and some question his maturity. It’s worth noting that he benefited from playing against weaker Big 12 defenses. Assuming he has the mental makeup and work ethic, I have a hard time seeing him fail.


4. Cleveland Browns: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
The butterfly effect of selecting Josh Allen continues. With the Giants selecting Sam Darnold, the Browns now have their pick of the big three positional prospects. With Isaiah Crowell now on the Jets, Cleveland could use a replacement at running back.

Saquon Barkley is far and away the best player in the draft. Barkley’s strong in both the run and pass game. His mixture of speed and elusiveness makes him a home run threat on every play. Pairing Barkley with Tyrod Taylor and Josh Gordon would be nice start to Cleveland’s draft. Assuming Cleveland then selects a number two receiver in the 2nd round, they would have the making of a very potent offense.


5. Denver Broncos: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
Despite adding Case Keenum this off-season, a quarterback will still be in play at number five. Quenton Nelson seems to be the strongest non-quarterback possibility here. Recently, Elway stated that he values intelligence and pocket awareness in quarterbacks over a strong arm. That description happens to fit a quarterback available at number five.

Josh Rosen won’t amaze you when you watch him. But he deserves credit for being well-rounded. His play has very few weaknesses. He has a solid arm, good accuracy, and great mechanics. He’s the safest quarterback in the draft to me. Rosen’s personality does worry teams. If he goes this high, Denver feels comfortable that it won’t be an issue.


6. Indianapolis Colts: Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame
One of the few picks I didn’t change. Bradley Chubb will get serious consideration here because EDGE rusher is a huge need. I have to assume though that protecting Andrew Luck is priority number one for the Colts.

It’s rare to see a guard go this high. But Quenton Nelson has that type of upside. Many believe that he has the potential to step in right away and be one of the best guards in the game. Nelson embarrassed opposing linemen close to every game. He’s well-rounded and strong in both run and pass protection. Any concerns I have about him makes me feel like I’m nitpicking for the sake of it.


7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State
A pass rusher here may be a bit of a surprise considering the Buccaneers added Vinny Curry and Jason Pierre-Paul this off-season. But, Bradley Chubb would be a steal at number seven and you can never have too many pass rushers.

Bradley Chubb’s combine raised some mild concerns, but watching him play puts most of those questions to rest. He pairs his dominating power with a high motor. Chubb’s bull rush has embarrassed opposing linemen throughout his career. I was also impressed with his interior pass rush as well.


8. Chicago Bears: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
The Chicago Bears have a huge hole at inside linebacker. At number eight, they’ll have their choice of the top linebackers in the draft. Ryan Pace is a fan of athletic prospects, and one specifically fits that trait.

I’m mixed on Tremaine Edmunds. There’s no denying his size, athleticism, and upside. If he reaches his full potential he can be a top linebacker in the league. But his mental game has a lot of catching up to do. He’s been a victim of play-fakes and misdirections his entire college career. He has the physical ability to start right away but requires patience. He’ll be prone to mental lapses his rookie year. Good coaching can correct this. And luckily for Edmunds, he’ll have the chance to learn from Vic Fangio.


9. San Francisco 49ers: Harold Landry, EDGE, Boston College
The San Francisco 49ers could only muster 30 sacks last season. They’ll need to add a boost to their pass rush in the draft. I wasn’t amazed by this year’s pass rushing class, so I’m inclined to believe the 49ers will add an EDGE rusher early.

Harold Landry is a high-risk, high-reward type of pick. Landry has fantastic athleticism and is very nimble. It’s impressive to see how low he can get against opposing linemen. He struggled with injuries in 2017 but his play did take a big step back from his junior year. If the 49ers believe they can channel his junior year form, they may be willing to take an early risk on Landry.


10. Oakland Raiders: Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
Opposing teams shredded Oakland’s secondary. They have massive needs at corner and could use upgrades at safety. It’s likely they’ll select the best defensive back available at number 10.

Minkah Fitzpatrick is a prime example of a modern-day defensive back. His versatility is huge with the ability to play corner, safety, or a hybrid linebacker. At Alabama, he displayed a diverse skill-set as a strong pass defender and he was helpful in run support. Alabama also loved using him on corner blitzes as well.


11. Miami Dolphins: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
Miami has weaknesses all throughout their linebacking corps. Opposing quarterbacks particularly targeted them through the air. I expect the Dolphins to put emphasis on finding a linebacker competent in pass coverage.

Roquan Smith is the most complete and pro-ready linebacker in the draft. Smith is athletic and comfortable moving around on defense. He’s capable of playing either inside or outside linebacker. Smith is strong as both a run and pass defender as well.


12. Buffalo Bills: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
The Bills made some noise trading up to number 12. Rumors point to them trying to move up further, but it’s difficult to say whether they will be successful in doing so. One thing’s clear, with only AJ McCarron and Nathan Peterman, Buffalo is certain to take a quarterback early.

This could be a solid situation for Lamar Jackson, if the Bills are patient. He’d benefit from a year on the bench to clean up his poor mechanics. Assuming his mechanics can fix some of his inaccuracy issues (they should), Jackson has as good upside as any quarterback in the draft. He’s the most dynamic quarterback in this year’s class and has an NFL arm. With his elusiveness, he’d thrive in an offense heavy on RPOs.


13. Washington Redskins: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
Trading Kendall Fuller was a massive blow to Washington’s secondary. Fuller was coming into his own and was strong as a slot corner. This is a deep corner class, so luckily Washington will have some strong options at 13.

Denzel Ward’s size and play-style suggest he’s better suited as a nickel corner. Ward is an athletic corner with great anticipation. He plays tight coverage and is great at reading a quarterback’s eyes.


14. Green Bay Packers: Derwin James, S, Florida State
Morgan Burnett was a terrific safety for the Green Bay Packers. But, Green Bay let him walk in free agency. This is a solid safety class so the Packers should be able to grab Burnett’s replacement early.

Derwin James is another example of a modern NFL safety. He’s capable of playing either safety or hybrid linebacker. James is an athletic freak and his energy on the field is contagious. His instincts are a bit lacking, but good coaching can correct this.


15. Arizona Cardinals: Vita Vea, DT, Washington
Steve Wilks has stated he wants to place a heavy emphasis on improving Arizona in the trenches. Chandler Jones was dominant last year and would benefit from Arizona adding another big body to their interior line.

Vita Vea is a massive defensive tackle. He’s the type of player that doesn’t rack up huge stats, but makes players around him better. His size can limit his pass rushing ability, but he makes up for it by collapsing the pocket. Because of this, he demands double teams and helps free up his outside rushers.


16. Baltimore Ravens: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
The Ravens have been adding to their receiving corps throughout the offseason. But, it still lacks excitement. With their signing of Willie Snead, they’re no longer contenders for Dez Bryant. Look for Baltimore to consider adding one of the top receivers in the draft at 16.

Calvin Ridley is smooth. He has success getting off of tight coverage and runs beautiful routes. He’s quick off the ball and positions himself well on his routes. Ridley has great athleticism and moves with the quarterback on busted plays. He does cause concern with his strength. He rarely breaks tackles and may struggle against more physical corners.


17. Los Angeles Chargers: Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama
Charger linebackers struggled on third down in pass coverage. While their linebacking corps as a whole could use an upgrade, I expect them to zero in on one strong in pass coverage.

Rashaan Evans is a very well-rounded linebacker with great athleticism. His play oozes confidence. Evans has strong instincts and very rarely gets lost when following a play. He’s strong in the run game and is capable of picking up running backs on passing routes as well. He’s gotten better every season and is one of my favorite linebackers in the draft.


18. Seattle Seahawks: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
Seattle’s offensive line has been terrible and is holding back their offense. German Ifedi especially has been god-awful and needs replacing. The Seahawks are a strong candidate to trade down and accumulate more picks. Which is good, because even in the late 20s, they should have plenty of offensive line options. But for now, let’s imagine who they’d pick at 18.

Connor McGlinchey is the top tackle prospect in the draft. He’s reliable in both run and pass blocking. He played both tackle spots at Notre Dame. McGlinchey’s best suited as a right tackle in the NFL.


19. Dallas Cowboys: Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
With the release of Dez Bryant, wide receiver becomes a top priority. Some people are down on this year’s wide receiver class. And while I don’t see any transcendent talents, there’s number one receiver potential with the top guys.

Courtland Sutton is a physical and big bodied receiver. At 6’3″ 218, Sutton is an ideal redzone threat. He gets great positioning on jump balls and has reliable hands as well. His route running could use cleaning up and his play speed is below average. But with his tools, I see the making of a solid number one guy.


20. Detroit Lions: Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
It was a popular talking point about how the Lions haven’t had a 100-yard rusher in a game since 2013. Luckily, the 2018 draft class is the ideal class to add a franchise running back.

Derrius Guice is a bull. It seems like every time he touches the ball he’s getting positive yards. He pairs his intimating power with surprising speed. Teams wanting to bring down Guice are going to have to send multiple guys his way. He can step in right away and be a number one back.


21. Cincinnati Bengals: Will Hernandez, OG, UTEP
The Bengals could use upgrades all across their offensive line. The loss of Kevin Zeitler has particularly hurt Cincinnati. A guard strong in run blocking can help make things easier for Joe Mixon.

Will Hernandez lacks ideal length, but he makes up for it in pure power. Hernandez is one of the most consistent and strongest run blockers in the draft. He’d be a huge boost to a Bengal team that ranked 31st in rushing. His strength allows him to bulldoze opposing linemen.


22. Buffalo Bills: Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State
The Bills front seven could use an upgrade, in particular their linebacking group. They let Preston Brown walk and outside of Matt Milano, they have no starting caliber players at linebacker.

Teams will fall in love with Leighton Vander Esch’s upside. He’s a one-year starter, but already looks like a star in the making. Vander Esch has a great combo of size and athleticism. He displays great awareness, closing speed, and power. Finally, he’s such an intelligent player and is fantastic at diagnosing plays.


23. New England Patriots: Marcus Davenport, EDGE, UTSA
Defensive end may no longer be a pressing need with the addition of Adrian Clayborn. But New England likes to go best player available. It also doesn’t hurt to have a surplus of pass rushers.

Marcus Davenport is a raw and versatile prospect. He played standing up at UTSA, but his size suggests he’s capable of playing with his hand on the ground. Davenport’s positive traits include an impressive speed rush and a high motor.


24. Carolina Panthers: Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
James Bradberry has been a good corner for Carolina but they’re still looking to replace Josh Norman. This is a very strong defensive back class so they’ll likely be able to snag a great cornerback at 24.

Josh Jackson is a very athletic cornerback. Jackson made a name for himself as a ballhawk at Iowa. The downside to being an aggressive corner is that he’s prone to get burnt often. As a one year starter, it’s clear he’s still getting comfortable with the position. He’ll only get better once he strikes a healthy balance between being smart and aggressive as a player.


25. Tennessee Titans: Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
Sylvester Williams was a disappointment for Tennessee. Bennie Logan is a decent nose tackle, but more of a stopgap solution. The Titans may want to look for a more permanent answer.

Da’Ron Payne is a massive defensive tackle with a complete game. He’s a strong hand-fighter and has a nice set of interior and outside pass rush moves. The strongest run defender in the draft, Payne is a strong tackle. He reacts well to run plays and was consistent in making plays behind the line of scrimmage.


26. Atlanta Falcons: Isaiah Wynn, OL, Georgia
The Atlanta Falcons have put together a pretty solid offensive line. Both Wes Schweitzer and Ben Garland could use competition at guard though.

Isaiah Wynn’s versatility will be intriguing to teams. A talented lineman who’s capable of playing all three positions. He’s best suited at guard and displayed his aggression through strong run blocking. He also has impressive athleticism and is reliable in pass blocking as well.


27. New Orleans Saints: Sam Hubbard, EDGE, Ohio State
It’s important to place a strong emphasis on the pass rush. The Saints already have a couple of solid defensive ends in Cam Jordan and Alex Okafor, but Okafor suffered an Achilles injury recently. The Saints may want to add another rusher in case Okafor struggles to come back.

Sam Hubbard doesn’t jump out at you when watching him. But overall, he’s a well-rounded prospect. Hubbard has a great motor, awareness, and ideal size for a pass rusher.


28. Pittsburgh Steelers: Justin Reid, S, Stanford
Morgan Burnett is a very talented and experienced safety. He was a great pickup for Pittsburgh. It’d be great for them if they paired a rookie safety with Burnett.

Justin Reid is an athletic safety who displayed some versatility at Stanford. Reid also shows some nice closing speed as well. He’ll need to sharpen his instincts, because he fell victim often to play-fakes.


29. Jacksonville Jaguars: Taven Bryan, DL, Florida
The Jaguars are a pretty well-rounded team. They can afford to go BPA and pick a prospect who may help them more in a season or two as opposed to right away. Calais Campbell has been huge for Jacksonville but will be 32 at the start of the season, they may want to start grooming his replacement.

Taven Bryan is one of the best blitzing defensive tackles in the draft. His speed and athleticism make him a difficult block when he hits his gaps. Bryan is capable of playing either defensive tackle or defensive end in the NFL. He’s a one-year starter, so he’s a bit raw as a prospect especially with his instincts. In Jacksonville, he’d have more of a situational role initially which he’d benefit from.


30. Minnesota Vikings: Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA
Minnesota will likely kick Mike Remmers inside to guard. This would then leave a hole at right tackle. They’ll have a couple of options here at 30.

Kolton Miller will be an interesting guy to watch on draft night. Scouts have him all over the board from the top half of the first to early 2nd. In the end, a team in the first round will likely fall in love with his upside and athleticism. Miller also has experience at both tackle spots.


31. New England Patriots: Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville
It goes without saying losing Malcolm Butler hurts New England’s defense. It’s a deep corner class so New England will have the opportunity to grab a quality replacement at the end of the first.

Jaire Alexander looks so comfortable on the field. Alexander shadows receivers and is great a reading a quarterback’s eyes. He has nice awareness as well and is quick to react to underneath plays.


32. Philadelphia Eagles: Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State
Philadelphia is a well-rounded team that can go best player available at pick 32. The Eagles had to let Trey Burton walk in free agency, so they may look towards adding a replacement early in the draft.

Mike Gesicki is an athletic tight end who would be great value at number 32. He’s weak as a blocker, but a terrific pass catcher. It seems like every time I watch him he’s open thanks to his fantastic route running ability. He’d be a great pairing with Zach Ertz.

2018 NFL Mock Draft 1.0

Updated: April 18, 2018

Round 1

1. Cleveland Browns: Sam Darnold, QB, USC
It’s no secret the Browns are going with a quarterback at number one. The draft is a few weeks away so we’ll bounce around every day with a different quarterback in the number one slot. It’ll likely come down to either Sam Darnold or Josh Allen.

In this mock, I’ll go Sam Darnold. In the end, Darnold has fewer questions surrounding him as a prospect in comparison to Josh Allen. Darnold struggled a bit this past year but still has some impressive highlights. When he’s hot, he’s far and away the top quarterback in this year’s draft. His arm strength, accuracy, and mobility allow him to make some breathtaking plays. My main gripe with Darnold is his lowlights. He had some head-scratching turnovers. The type of turnovers where I struggled to understand what he was even thinking. Some wonder if the pressure got to him. Others believe it was a case of someone trying to be the hero. It’ll come down to whether the Browns believe his increase in turnovers is a fixable problem. If so, he’ll be the number one pick.


2. New York Giants: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
I went back and forth with this pick. Conventional wisdom says the Giants should take a quarterback at number two. But I’m a sucker for draft smokescreens and many suggest that Darnold is New York’s preferred guy. So I’ll entertain the idea that the Giants feel the remaining four of the big five quarterbacks are not worthy of the 2nd pick.

If the Giants do pass on a quarterback at number two it’ll come down to either Saquon Barkley or Bradley Chubb. Both would fill huge needs for the Giants. I lean Barkley because he’s the best prospect in this year’s draft. He’s strong both on the ground and through the air. He displayed great vision, speed, and elusiveness as a runner. Barkley was a constant threat for a home run play at Penn State. Some question whether a running back is worth a pick this high. But Barkley has all-time great upside and could prove worthy of the number two pick.


3. New York Jets: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
The Jets made a bold move trading up to number three. Now they guarantee themselves an opportunity to select a franchise quarterback. The Jets have been putting together a nice rebuild these past couple of years. Early rumors suggest this pick is between Josh Rosen and Baker Mayfield.

I ended up going with Josh Rosen at this spot. Assuming the Jets are comfortable with his personality, he’s the safest quarterback. It’s difficult for me, a random guy on the internet, to go in-depth about whether Rosen’s personality is an issue. Because surprising as it may be, I don’t know him personally. I can talk about his play at least. When I watched him nothing in particular ‘wowed’ me like others. But I came away impressed with how well-rounded he is as a quarterback. Some positives include fantastic footwork, mechanics, and great accuracy. His arm isn’t the strongest but he’s capable of making NFL throws.


4. Cleveland Browns: Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State
Saquon Barkley going off the board at number two makes Cleveland’s decision easier. Hue Jackson has already expressed his interest in Bradley Chubb in his own endearing way. And a duo of Myles Garrett and Chubb has the potential to be one of the best in the league. The Browns also have Emmanuel Ogbah who’d be a great option to rotate with them throughout the game.

Bradley Chubb’s combine raised some mild concerns, but watching him play puts most of those questions to rest. He pairs his dominating power with a high motor. Chubb’s bull rush has embarrassed opposing linemen throughout his career. I was also impressed with his interior pass rush as well.


5. Denver Broncos: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
Denver’s in an interesting spot. Having signed Case Keenum, Denver has the opportunity to look elsewhere at number 5. At the same time, they only signed Keenum to a 2 year deal. It’s clear they only see him as a stop-gap quarterback. No team plans on picking in the top five every year, so you wonder if Denver feels this is the best time to select a potential franchise quarterback?

Baker Mayfield is my top quarterback in this year’s draft. He leans on the safer side of prospects while also having tremendous upside. His accuracy is deadly and he displayed solid mobility as well. Mayfield also has an NFL arm. His mechanics will need cleaning up and some question his maturity. It’s worth noting that he benefited from playing against weaker Big 12 defenses. Assuming he has the mental makeup and work ethic, I have a hard time seeing him fail.


6. Indianapolis Colts: Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame
If this past season without Andrew Luck wasn’t enough to convince the Colts they need to protect him, I don’t know what will. The Colts do have the making of a solid offensive line. Anthony Castonzo and Ryan Kelly have proven themselves to be good linemen. Continuing to add another strong piece can help make everyone’s job easier.

It’s rare to see a guard go this high. But Quenton Nelson has that type of upside. Many believe that he has the potential to step in right away and be one of the best guards in the game. Nelson embarrassed opposing linemen close to every game. He’s well-rounded and strong in both run and pass protection. Any concerns about him makes me feel like I’m nitpicking for the sake of it.


7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Derwin James, S, Florida State
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers struggled in pass defense this past year. Buccaneer defenders struggled to cover tight ends and running backs. Tampa needs a strong defensive back to help seal up the middle of their pass defense.

Derwin James is a perfect safety for today’s NFL. His versatility will come in huge for teams. He’s capable of moving all around the field playing both safety and a hybrid linebacker role. His athleticism and energy on the field will be a huge plus for teams. He’ll need to quicken his reaction time but this will come with experience.


8. Chicago Bears: Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
Playing in the NFC North means you must have a strong secondary. Especially with the recent addition of Kirk Cousins in Minnesota. Chicago’s cornerbacks are okay but lack depth. With Chubb and Nelson off the board, I see Chicago bolstering their secondary.

Minkah Fitzpatrick is another prime example of a modern-day defensive back. His versatility is huge with the ability to play corner, safety, or a hybrid linebacker. At Alabama he displayed a diverse skill-set as a strong pass defender and he was helpful in run support. Alabama also loved using him on corner blitzes as well.


9. San Francisco 49ers: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
San Francisco struggled in pass defense this past season. Ahkello Witherspoon was one of the few bright spots at corner. And the addition of Richard Sherman should help lock down the other outside corner position. But, the 49ers are still left with a hole at nickelback.

Denzel Ward plays tight coverage and is fantastic at reading a quarterback’s eyes. A great athlete, he also has fantastic anticipation. He’s not the strongest player so he would struggle as an outside corner. Putting him at nickelback would allow him to reach his full potential.


10. Oakland Raiders: Vita Vea, DT, Washington
The Oakland Raiders defense struggled this past season and I expect them to address it early and often in the draft this year. Khalil Mack is the best player on the Raiders defense and a target for double teams. Oakland may look towards bolstering their interior line to help make Mack’s job easier.

Vita Vea is a massive defensive tackle. He’s the type of player that doesn’t rack up huge stats, but makes players around him better. His size can limit his pass rushing ability, but he makes up for it by collapsing the pocket. Because of this, he demands double teams and helps free up his outside rushers.


11. Miami Dolphins: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
Upgrading their linebacking corps has to be priority number one for the Dolphins. Lawrence Timmons has nothing left in the tank and Kiko Alonso has struggled in pass coverage. With needs at both sides, the Dolphins can afford to go best linebacker available at number 11.

I’m mixed on Tremaine Edmunds. There’s no denying his size, athleticism, and upside. If he reaches his full potential he can be a top linebacker in the league. But his mental game has a lot of catching up to do. He’s been a victim of play-fakes and misdirections his entire college career. He has the physical ability to start right away but requires patience. He’ll be prone to mental lapses his rookie year. Good coaching can correct this. And luckily he’s only 19, in case you haven’t heard that for the billionth time this draft season.


12. Buffalo Bills: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
The Bills made some noise trading up to number 12. Rumors point to them trying to move up further but it’s difficult to say whether they will be successful in doing so. But one things clear, with AJ McCarron and Nathan Peterman as their only two quarterbacks, Buffalo is certain to take a quarterback early.

I know Bills fans will hate this pick, like most teams who get mocked Josh Allen. The Josh Allen hate is a tad overblown. He’s a risky prospect but the tools are there. His size, mobility, and arm strength are off the charts. But his entire career will rely on whether he can improve his accuracy. The primary reason he’s not a surefire bust to me is his awful mechanics (As weird as that sounds.) Allen has a habit of not setting his feet when he throws. He’s also guilty of throwing off his back foot a lot. With the right work ethic, fixing his mechanics is possible. It wouldn’t be surprising to see his accuracy improve through better footwork. If he can improve his accuracy he has the highest upside of any quarterback in this year’s draft.


13. Washington Redskins: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
Zach Brown has been a great linebacker for the Washington Redskins. But they could use an upgrade at the other inside linebacker spot. Brown is a speedy linebacker who’s weaker at pass coverage. So Washington may look towards someone who can help him in that regard.

Roquan Smith would be a perfect compliment to Brown. Smith is also a fast linebacker and strong in pass coverage. Watching him at Georgia, you see the type of impact he has on their defense right away. He’s comfortable moving around the field and had a strong impact in run defense. He is a well-rounded prospect and should be a week one starter at linebacker.


14. Green Bay Packers: Harold Landry, EDGE, Boston College
The Green Bay Packers edge rush could use a boost. While Clay Matthews and Nick Perry have talent both have struggled with injuries. Add on that Matthews is also on the wrong side of 30, the Packers would be wise to look at a pass rusher early.

With a couple of solid pass rushers already on the roster, Green Bay can afford to make an upside pick. Harold Landry has fantastic athleticism and is very nimble. It’s impressive to see how low he can get against opposing linemen. He struggled with injuries in 2017 but his play did take a step back from his junior year. Where Landry goes will all depend on which team believes they can channel his junior year form.


15. Arizona Cardinals: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
The Arizona Cardinals will draft a franchise quarterback sooner or later. As depressing as it is, I can’t imagine they have much faith in Sam Bradford to play a full season. At least a quarterback group of Bradford and Mike Glennon allows them to slowly bring along a young quarterback.

Lamar Jackson is the most dynamic quarterback in the draft. He’d be perfect for an offense heavy in RPOs. Some positive traits of his include an NFL arm and elusiveness. He’d benefit from a year on the bench to help clean up his mechanics. He’s been a victim of drops, but there are still some concerns about his accuracy.


16. Baltimore Ravens: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
Baltimore is going to need a complete overhaul on offense. Their offensive line is no exception. It was evident how much they missed Ricky Wagner this past season. A reliable right tackle is at the top of the list for the Ravens.

Mike McGlinchey is the top offensive tackle in this year’s draft. A strong blocker in both the run and pass game. McGlinchey displays some impressive athleticism as well. He’s capable of playing either tackle spot but is more suited for a right tackle position.


17. Los Angeles Chargers: Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
The Los Angeles Chargers were torn to shreds through the ground last year. They ranked 31st in total yards giving up an astonishing 2098 yards with a 4.9 YPC average. A boost to their interior line would go a long way in improving their run defense.

Da’Ron Payne is a massive defensive tackle with a complete game. He’s a strong hand-fighter and has a nice set of interior and outside pass rush moves. The strongest run defender in the draft, Payne is a strong tackle. He reacts well to run plays and was consistent in making plays behind the line of scrimmage.


18. Seattle Seahawks: Isaiah Wynn, OG, Georgia
You don’t have to watch much Seahawks football to understand how terrible their offensive line is. Russell Wilson has been on the run most of his career. One of the most memorable moments I have of Seattle’s offensive line was in week 9 against the Redskins this past year. The last play of the game, Seattle set up for a hail mary. The Redskins sent one rusher and still managed to pressure Wilson. It’d be shocking if they didn’t address the line this year.

Isaiah Wynn’s versatility will be intriguing to teams. A talented linemen who’s capable of playing all three positions. He’s best suited at guard and displayed his aggression through strong run blocking. He also has impressive athleticism and is reliable in pass blocking as well.


19. Dallas Cowboys: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
Even before cutting Dez Bryant, you had to imagine Dallas was taking a close look at this year’s receivers. Now with Bryant out of the picture, it seems Dallas is confident they can draft his replacement early. There’s mixed reactions about this 2018 receiving class, but I’m a fan.

Calvin Ridley is smooth. He has success getting off of tight coverage and runs beautiful routes. He’s quick off the ball and positions himself well on his routes. Ridley has great athleticism and moves with the quarterback on busted plays. He does cause concern with his strength. He rarely breaks tackles and may struggle against more physical corners.


20. Detroit Lions: Taven Bryan, DL, Florida
The Detroit Lions have very little depth at the defensive tackle position. They also ranked 20th in the NFL in sacks and could use some interior pass rush. Look for them to draft someone to pair with A’Shawn Robinson.

Taven Bryan is one of the best blitzing defensive tackles in the draft. His speed and athleticism make him a difficult block when he hits his gaps. Bryan is capable of playing either defensive tackle or defensive end in the NFL. He’s a one year starter so he’s a bit raw as a prospect especially with his instincts. But the upside is there and he can be a special player.


21. Cincinnati Bengals: James Daniels, C, Iowa
Cincinnati’s offensive line was terrible last year and in complete need of an overhaul. Trading for Cordy Glenn was a nice start but there’s still holes to fill. Russell Bodine was beat all season at center and luckily is no longer with Cincinnati.

James Daniels would be a perfect pick for the Bengals. Daniels is an experienced center with a long list of positives from his phenomenal technique to his athleticism. He was strong in both pass and run protection. Daniels also has good size and is capable of being a week one starter.


22. Buffalo Bills: Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State
Buffalo’s linebacking corps is one of the weaker aspects of their defense. If they stay at 22, it gives them the opportunity to add one of the many well-rounded linebackers in this year’s class. They’ll especially look for one capable both in run and pass defense.

Leighton Vander Esch has a great combo of size and speed. He’s only a one year starter so there’s a strong chance he has the potential to get even better. Already he displays great awareness, closing speed, and power. Finally, he’s such an intelligent player and is fantastic at diagnosing plays.


23. New England Patriots: Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama
Following their Super Bowl loss, New England will look towards bolstering their defense. Dont’a Hightower has been the cornerstone of the defense and could use a reliable linebacker to play next to him.

Rashaan Evans is a very well-rounded linebacker with great athleticism. His play oozes confidence. Evans has strong instincts and very rarely gets lost when following a play. He’s strong in the run game and is capable of picking up running backs on passing routes as well.


24. Carolina Panthers: Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado
Carolina’s secondary was a major weakness last year. They’ll need to address both safety and corner in the draft. With Derwin James and Minkah Fitzpatrick already off the board I’m inclined to believe they’ll wait on safety. They could find someone to play alongside James Bradberry though.

Isaiah Oliver size and long arms will intrigue teams. His play will convince them that he’s a top corner in the draft. Oliver displays great awareness and anticipation. He also has exceptional strength and is aggressive when it comes to making tackles. He’ll come in as a number two corner for Carolina, but he has number one corner potential.


25. Tennessee Titans: Marcus Davenport, EDGE, UTSA
The Tennessee Titans will look to strengthen their defense in this year’s draft. Their primary EDGE rushers include Brian Orakpo (age 31) and Derrick Morgan (age 29). Both are solid players but the Titans could use an injection of youth in their pass rush.

Tennessee seems like a perfect situation for Marcus Davenport. Davenport is a raw prospect and a tweener at this point. His size suggests that he’s a 4-3 defensive end but he does have a lot of experience playing standing up. Being able to come in and learn from Morgan and Orakpo could let him grow into his position. He’ll need to refine his game but already he’s displayed an impressive speed rush and a high motor.


26. Atlanta Falcons: Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan
With Dontari Poe leaving through free agency the Falcons are once again lacking depth at defensive tackle. It’s a solid class of interior linemen so they should be able to find their guy to compliment Grady Jarrett.

Maurice Hurst had an initial health scare, but reports have cleared Hurst. Some teams could still be gun-shy with him, especially in the first. But it only takes one team to pull the trigger and if they do, they’ll be getting a talented defensive tackle. A tad undersized, Hurst demonstrated a strong initial burst. He was a constant threat as a pass rusher and demanded double teams. He also responded well to running plays and was a strong tackle.


27. New Orleans Saints: Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State
As the Saints make their final push with Drew Brees I expect them to give him as many weapons as possible. New Orleans struggled on third downs thanks in large part to a lack of a reliable tight end. Despite adding Benjamin Watson, tight end is still their most glaring weakness.

Mike Gesicki is a huge threat through the passing game. One of the best route running tight ends, it seemed like every time I watched him he was open. He’s a dreadful blocker but with how strong of a receiver he is, teams may be willing to overlook this weakness.


28. Pittsburgh Steelers: Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
Pittsburgh’s cornerback group was all over the place last year. Artie Burns had an up and down year and Joe Haden suffered a leg injury this past season. But even Haden was prone to mental lapses last year and may be slowing down. Pittsburgh may look towards adding to their secondary in hopes of gaining some consistency.

Josh Jackson exploded on the scene and was a ballhawk for Iowa. He’s only a one year starter and his inexperience was evident in his play-style. He’s a risk taker and relies too heavily on his athleticism at times. But the fact that he was so dominant throughout his first season shows what kind of upside he has once he becomes more comfortable in the position.


29. Jacksonville Jaguars: Will Hernandez, OG, UTEP
The Jacksonville Jaguars leaned on their run game a lot this past season. The key to a strong run game is a strong offensive line (Cutting edge analysis, huh?) Jacksonville could use someone at left guard to pair with Cam Robinson who had a good rookie season.

Will Hernandez lacks ideal length but he makes up for it in pure power. Hernandez is one of the most consistent and strongest run blockers in the draft. His strength allows him to bulldoze opposing linemen. He would be an immediate starter for Jacksonville.


30. Minnesota Vikings: Connor Williams, OL, Texas
Upgrading their offensive line has to be one of Minnesota’s top priorities. Right tackle and right guard in particular will need addressing in the draft. There should be some good versatile options available at pick 30.

Connor Williams seems like an ideal pick for the Vikings. In college, Williams played tackle and was strong in run and pass blocking. His play suggests he has the potential to play right tackle in the NFL. However, Williams does have short arms for a tackle. Luckily, he does have the size and power to move inside to guard if necessary. With needs at tackle and guard, Williams’s versatility could be intriguing to the Vikings.


31. New England Patriots: Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA
With Nate Solder leaving via free agency, the Patriots now have a huge hole at left tackle. The Patriots may be in a tough spot. There’s several tackles who receive a first round grade but many are raw prospects. Some question whether they’d be ready to make a move to left tackle. But with the linemen they have on the roster, New England may not have much of a choice.

Kolton Millers’s measurables will impress you. He’s exceptionally long and had a strong combine where he displayed his athleticism. He has good power and is a hard worker. He made the move to left tackle last season and grew into the position. He’s a bit raw but the upside is there.


32. Philadelphia Eagles: Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
Fresh off their first Super Bowl win, the Philadelphia Eagles are in a nice spot. Their most pressing need is a left tackle they can develop behind Jason Peters. Unfortunately in this mock, I don’t see any tackles worthy of pick 32. With that in mind, I see Philadelphia going BPA with the final pick in the first round.

Derrius Guice is an absolute beast of a runner. It seemed like every time I watch him he’s getting positive yards. He’s one of the toughest tackles in the draft and is big in getting yards after contact. Guice has number one running back potential and would pair well with Jay Ajayi and Corey Clement.