2018 NFL Mock Draft, by James Fedewa @jamfed (NationalFanatic.com)

3/20/2018 by James Fedewa (www.NationalFanatic.com)

Finally, the first published mock-draft of the 2018 mock-draft season. Don’t get me wrong, I have already made three or four mock drafts, but with all the crazy free agency signings this season, everything gets changes daily.

I hope you enjoy, and let me know what you think.

 

Pick

Team

Player

Notes

1

CLEVELAND BROWNS

Sam Darnold, QB, USC The Browns target a quarterback with their first pick, possibly ending their spotty quarterback problems of the last two decades. Darnold can learn the position for a year (or two) before he takes the Cleveland starting QB job. Darnold has good size and measurables with excellent improvisational skills for the position. Although any of the top three quarterbacks can be taken #1 overall, Darnold is tough as nails and looks like a Cleveland Dog-Pound type of player.
2

NEW YORK GIANTS

Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA Eli Manning has at least two solid more years in NYC (& the NFL), but rarely pick this early in the draft, so it is the perfect time to find Manning’s replacement. There is no rush to start Rosen either, which will give him plenty of time to learn how difficult is to be a New York City quarterback. Rosen could also have the “Brees-Effect” to Manning’s carrier (as Drew Brees did not flourish as a quarterback until Philip Rivers joined the Chargers. Considering that the Giants actually drafted Rivers….
3

NEW YORK JETS

Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming As soon as the Jets traded up with the Colts for the #3 pick, I slated Baker Mayfield as the selection here, hands-down. At first though, Mayfield looked the perfect fit (and could take Gotham by storm). Then I thought what NYC stands for and who would be a better superhero for Gotham: Baker Mayfield or Josh Allen (and Allen won). Allen has the prototypical NFL QB big size, tenacity and resourcefulness. More importantly, he also has a cannon for an arm, which is his super power. * I’m not calling Baker Mayfield Robin either, but size does matter in the Big Apple.
4

CLEVELAND BROWNS

Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State What? Not Saquon Barkley here… NO! Chubb is the top edge prospect and can easily go #1 or #2 overall, but with quarterbacks being drafted with the first three picks, the Browns draft the smartest pick available. I’m not says that Barkley is not the best player overall, but pass rushers are just harder to find than running backs. Some of the highest paid player in the league are pass rushers, but great running backs can be found later in the draft (like the David Johnson’s and Alvin Kamara’s of the NFL). Plus, Cleveland has two good RB’s already on the team; Duke Johnson and Carlos Hyde.
5

DENVER BRONCOS

Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State The Broncos signed quarterback Case Keenum in free agency, and they get a good one. So, drafting another quarterback in the first round can be postponed. Also, drafting the best offensive line prospect (Quentin Nelson) here at #5 will only help protect their new QB investment, but Elway would never draft a guard with a top 5 selection. Saquon Barkley falls into Denver’s lap and they can put more emphasis in the running game. Plus, signing Keenum buys the Paxton Lynch experiment a few more months.
6

INDIANAPOLIS COLTS

Quentin Nelson, G, Notre Dame The Colts trade down, get three extra second round picks AND get the player they were targeting all along (that’s called winning, or solid negotiating skills). Frank Reich was going to the best draft offensive lineman as a top priority in the draft. I would not call Nelson a generational talent, especially at the guard position, but he is very good and is a 330 lbs. Taekwondo champion.
7

TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS

Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Alabama The Bucs needs a quality free-lancing safety and this pairing is really a great match for Tampa. The Buc’s secondary looks very formidable with this addition. Fitz could probably play any DB position (slot DB or Free Safety). Marcus Davenport could also be the selection here, but with the addition of Vinny Curry, Tampa gets the best DB in the draft.
8

CHICAGO BEARS

Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA Davenport performed very impressively at the Senior Bowl, and did outstanding at the combine. He has rare tools and height/size you look for in a first round edge pass rusher. UTSA? Yes, UTSA! (That’s the University of Texas, San Antonio)
9

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State The 49ers could use a safety or cornerback with this pick, and the choose the best cornerback in this year’s draft. Ward can play outside or inside at nickel, but he is every down talent, regardless of position. He can be a pro bowl outside cornerback in the NFL.
10

OAKLAND RAIDERS

Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville SPEED! Alexander lit up the combine with 4.38 40-yard dash and Gruden needs some speed in their secondary. LB or DT would be a good selection here too, but 4.38 DB speed is just too sexy. Think Gruden, Speed and Vegas = Alexander! (#FTR)
11

MIAMI DOLPHINS

Derwin James, S, Florida State What would Adam Gase do with this pick? He’s the quarterback whisperer, right? He can take potential and turn it into quality, right? However, Tannehill has the potential, but over the last two seasons, he just doesn’t have the knee to stay on the field. Gase could draft his FIRST quarterback ever with this pick, as Baker Mayfield is available, but he decides to give Tannehill another unimpeded shot. Derwin James can be lined up anywhere in the Miami secondary, and will start out as a safety (but he will can bloom into an all pro cornerback too). Great pick!
12

BUFFALO BILLS

Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma Mayfield’s lack of height will cause him to slide a bit, but this is a solid spot for a shorter QB. Not that 6′ is short, but it is for first round QB’s. The last 6′ QB to be drafted in the first round was Johnny Manziel, but Mayfield is not JFF. Baker did win the Heisman and does project well in the NFL, Mayfield could slide a bit in this draft, just like Drew Brees, Derek Carr, Jimmy Garoppolo and even Jake Plumber, who were very good 2nd round draft picks (none of whom were very tall). He’s out of the top 10, but #12 is still a good spot, and a Buffalo need.
13

WASHINGTON

Tremaine Edwards, LB, Virginia Tech Edwards is can play inside or outside linebacker in the 3-4 defense, and will solidify the Redskins linebacking core for a long time. He is a big, tall and fast ILB will reshape the Gruden’s defense, but not exactly right away. Tremaine is very raw, and very young, but he is an athletic freak (and a perfect 1st round LB projection, based on his speed at his size). Gruden will be tempted with a quality cornerback here, but Orlando Scandrick was just signed, paired with Josh Norman, which looks very good. And pair Zack Brown with Tremaine Edwards on the inside, this make the Redskins very intimidating.
14

GREEN BAY PACKERS

Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa Jackson has tremendous upside, can be an elite pro CB and should go sooner than #14, but a timing error occurred at the combine changed his unofficial clocked time. Last season, Jackson led the nation in interceptions (8), passed defensed (26) with two interception/touchdowns.
15

ARIZONA CARDINALS

Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville Sam Bradford is the new QB in Arizona this season, but his knees have problems (which means his backup QB needs to be very good). Lamar Jackson has quick feet, lightning speed, and could probably flourish behind Arizona’s shotty offensive line (a lot better than Bradford). Jackson will start several games this season, and could develop into a long-term franchise quarterback.
16

BALTIMORE RAVENS

Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama The Ravens and Joe Flacco need some quality wideouts and Ridley looks like an Ozzie Newsome type of selection. Current WR’s Mike Wallace, Jeremy Maclin and Perriman are not exactly WR1’s and actually hinder Flacco’s stats.
17

LOS ANGELES CHARGERS

Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame McGlinchey played left tackle in college, but could shift to right tackle in the pros. The Chargers are projected to take a defensive tackle or linebacker at this spot, and they have a history of rotating offense and defense in the 1st rounds, so defense now would be anticipated. However, right tackle Joe Barksdale is upgradable (or could be cut and replaced). DT Corey Liuget is the same situation, so Da’Ron Payne or Maurice Hurst could be the selection here too.
18

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

Connor Williams, OT, Texas Every draft year, O-line depth is critical for the Seahawks, but it also seems that the Seahawks always draft offensive tackles in every first round too. Conner Williams is a tackle, but he could also be a guard, which could be a great fit here. Since Richard Sherman is now on the 49ers, a cornerback could be taken here also = Isaiah Oliver.
19

DALLAS COWBOYS

Mike Hughes, CB, UCF CB Orlando Scandrick is gone, finding a new cornerback is crucial at this point. Hughes slides a bit in this draft and this is really a BPA pick at a position of need. Hughes’ extra bonus here is his special-team’s abilities. He can be a potential pro-bowl punt returner too.
20

DETROIT LIONS

Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia With linebackers Whitehead and Levey gone, LB is a position of need. Smith is a game changer and a wonderful addition to the Lions. RB Derrius Guice, could be a great selection here to, but a big running back could be a free agent thing.
21

CINCINATTI BENGALS

Vita Vea, DT, Washington Bengals needed OG’s and OT’s big time, but with the new addition of Cordy Glenn at left tackle, the Bengals can focus on the D-Line first. Vea has the size of a nose tackle, but the speed of a 3-tech DT. Pair him up with Mr. Geno Atkins (and the other old defensive ends) and the whole D-line looks a lot younger. Bengals take the best DL prospect at this point…
22

BUFFALO BILLS

Harold Landry, EDGE, Boston College Landry looked great at the Senior Bowl and Buffalo needs the BEST edge player at this spot. Arden Key could be the selection too, but he’s more of a 3-4 OLB. Landry looks good!
23

LOS ANGELES RAMS

Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU Sammy Watkins leaves free agency, and welcome his replacement. Sutton has good speed and great size. He looks like a true WR1.
24

CAROLINA PANTHERS

Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado Free Agent cornerback Bashaud Breeland was brought in as a free agent, but failed his physical. Obviously, the Panthers are looking for help and youth at cornerback. The Carolina secondary just has not been the same since Josh Norman left.
25

TENNESSEE TITANS

Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama Alabama is the Defensive Tackle factory and Payne can unleash the pain for the Vrabel D-Line. He will be a quality anchor and 5 Technique Defensive End in Tennessee.
26

ATLANTA FALCONS

Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan Hurst looks like a terrific 3-tech DT draft prospect and should go a lot higher, but an irregular heartbeat will cause his draft stock to slip a bit. With NT Dontari Poe leaving Atlanta after one season, some more d-line depth can be used here.
27

NEW ORLEANS SAINTS

Arden Key, LB, LSU Adren Key has character issues, but he is a very good speed pass rusher. (and his character issues are a little overblown). His bend and quickness pass rushing ability is a work of art and he could develop into a top pass rusher quickly. Seems that the Saints defensive line is built will all big and powerful 5-tech D-Ends, but Key bring a different element to a defense.
28

PITTSBURGH STEELERS

Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama Welcome Ryan Shazier’s replacement and a quality leader. Evans looks and player like a Steeler ILB, but his game is 100% different than Shazier’s.
29

JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS

James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State The JAX defensive is built for success now, the offensive needs weapons (and help NOW). Washington is not the biggest WR1, but his wingspan is very long and he blew up his pro day (running a 4.43 forty and jumping 5″ higher than what he did at the combine).
30

MINNESOTA VIKINGS

Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State The Vikings can target some offensive linemen here, but some youth can be brought in on the defensive line. Sam Hubbard looks like Mike Zimmer type of edge guy.
31

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

Taven Bryan, DT, Florida This is a Bill Belichick type of d-lineman with this pick. Sure, an edge defender does make more sense here, but Bryan could be that hidden gem type of D-Lineman that only Belichick finds. G E M!
32

PHILADELPHIA EAGLES

Derrius Guice, RB, LSU Guice is a Doug Peterson type of running back. Sure, Peterson is always looking for wide receivers, but running back are the secret of Peterson’s success. Jay Ajayi did well for a bit last season, but his knee has never been 100% and depth is needed at RB. LeGarrette Blount outstanding last season in Philly, and Guice fills Blount’s spot.
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About National Fanatic

Sports Opinionist, NFL Draftnik, Brand Identity Professional, Golfer, Home-Brewer, Father & Husband (Son & Brother) - Chargers, Padres & Lakers Loyalist & Fan

Posted on March 20, 2018, in NFL. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. The media cognoscenti say James is more likely than Fitz. Bucs need more of a SS & less of a weak.
    TB. may move up to take Guice. I think it’s a mistake & a waste, but that’s the word.

    • Minkah Fitzpatrick is a better DB prospect than Derwin James. Both look really good and both could possibly play CB too, but I think Derwin James might be a little over-rated. Tampa would be better off with Fitz. Guice would be great in Tampa as well, but there are some very good (and similar) RB’s that could be drafted in the 2nd or 3rd round (like Royce Freeman).

  2. I think (for Cleveland anyway) that your reasoning and prediction is sound. Good mock

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