4/25/2019 – by James Fedewa @jamfed www.NationalFanatic.com
This seasons NFL Draft will be remarkable, we all know it, but predicting this draft is probably the most difficult in recent memory. If Kyler Murray does go #1 overall, then most mock-drafters (and Draftnik’s) are safe and should have a pretty decent top ten prediction, but Kyler Murray should not be your typical #1 overall type of draft pick.
Murray would instantly be the shortest NFL quarterback in the league, in the last 50 years (amongst typical first-round type QB’s). Plus Kyler has only started one season and he has the advantage of leaving the NFL to return to his MLB career. These are just too many (negative) variables for a #1 overall prospect. (…not to mention, the Cardinals already drafted a quarterback #10 overall in last season’s draft – Josh Rosen)
Please let me know what you think. Open dialog and communication is always admired:
|1||ARIZONA||Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama||Best player in the draft and an instant inside force for AZ. He can stuff the run and rush the passer, which the Cardinals need most of all. Kyler Murry is not the solution in AZ (Undersized, one-year starters are rarely first overall picks.) Lets not forget who is running this team: Steve Keim. Keim is the guy who drafted Josh Rosen and if he bails out now, ownership will have his head. Rosen remains Chosen.|
|2||SAN FRANCISCO||Nick Bosa, Edge, Ohio State||A good blend of power, technique, and DNA, Nick Bosa is the premier pass rusher in this draft. A few nagging injuries have limited his playtime, but nothing major. (weird thing; Bosa’s mother tweeted me an odd “quirky” PM about being her blessed, based on something I said about the Bosa’s healing factor – which is mildly awesome, and odd)|
|3||NEW YORK JETS||Josh Allen, Edge, Kentucky||The Jets have not have a great outside/edge pass rusher in decades. MOTOR + EDGE / MOTOR * STATS = PRODUCTION!|
|4||OAKLAND||Ed Oliver, DL, Houston||Oliver might be a Swiss Army Knife for the defense and could play 3-Tech, 5 Tech or Zero Tech on the D-line (and possibly play a bit of ILB). Put him anywhere on the defense and he will impact the game, which is what the Raiders have not had in a long time. Sure, Khalil Mack was a phenom, but he’s gone, and who has impacted the Raiders in the middle in the last 35 years? No one. Call him Howie Long 2.0 (but crazier)|
|5||TAMPA BAY||Devin White, ILB, Georgia||I always push inside linebackers to the second round (or later), but White will be the exception. Most of the buzz in Tampa has White selected here, so in true nature of Roquan Smith, here you go SEC.|
|6||NEW YORK GIANTS||Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State||If the Giants plan on changing to a 3-4, they better have a quality OLB. He’s a Spiderman do-it-all; rushing the passer and dropping in coverage. He’s adaptable and a great scheme fit. (School Stats and Combine = no brainer – since they are still in love with Eli Manning)|
|7||JACKSONVILLE||Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida||Jacksonville’s O-line gets a nice upgrade with a road-grading right tackle. Their o-line has strengths and weaknesses, but might now be their comparable strength|
|8||DETROIT||Jonah Williams, OL, Alabama||Williams can play anywhere on the O-Line, and he will help the run game and pass protection. I expect a trade-down here for a quarterback needy team, but if it doesn’t happen, then Williams is their guy.|
|9||BUFFALO||Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State||Buffalo is the wildcard pick. They can take a DL, DE or WR here, but they finally found a QB, so lets try to protect him a little better. Dillard is the complete left tackle and should be projected higher, but WAZZU might not get the attention they deserve. Go Cougs!|
|10||DENVER||Dwayne Haskins, QB Ohio State||Flacco could flourish in Denver, but he will need a lot more help than what is currently there on offense. With their poor O-line and the lack of depth at WR, their first-round pick will not exactly set Flacco up for any type of success (from any position of need at #10). So just get the BPA = Haskins is just better than any OL, WR, TE or defender (Haskin’s 50 TD’s in just too good to pass up) Regardless of team, Haskins will be the TOP QB in this draft.|
|11||CINCINNATI||Rashan Gary, Edge, Michigan||Gary slides just a bit, due to his shoulder problem. Gary might not have the best stats in college, but he is a beast. He is still a freak and freaks get drafted in the top 10. A freak with a potential shoulder surgery is #11 overall.|
|12||GREEN BAY||T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa||Tight Ends this early is really tough to chew (IMO), but Hockenson is a “can’t miss” prospect and is a little different with typical modern tight ends. T.J. can catch, block, move the chains and what is extra notable = pancake block. Think of an offensive tackle, mixed with a #1 receiver = Hock.|
|13||MIAMI||Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma||This still feels a little too early for Murray, but Miami needs help everywhere. Kyler is a TD machine and a big play every time he touches the ball. I do not think Murray is a top 10 draft-talent, but he is polarizing and is still gets drafted in the middle of the first round. 1-year experience at 5’-10” does not equate to a top 10 pick. Granted, I though Baker Mayfield should have been drafted #12 overall in 2018. Murray can be the first pick in the 2nd round too, but his arm strength brings him into the mid first round)|
|14||ATLANTA||Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson||The Falcons will focus on the D-Line, and Wilkins will quickly be a big disrupter. If Grady Jarrett can’t get a long-term contract, Wilkins can be his replacement.|
|15||WASHINGTON||Drew Lock, QB, Missouri||If Jay Gruden can tame this kid, and if Lock can follow Gruden’s way and coaching, Lock can develop into a great NFL QB. Gruden will draft lock to save his job (or he’s fired quickly).|
|16||CAROLINA||Clelin Ferrell, Edge, Clemson||The Panthers could draft an OL, DB or DE. Ferrell is a top tier DE but has risen quite a bit (due to Sweat’s hart condition and Gary’s shoulder problem). Ferrell is a Peppers replacement.|
|17||NEW YORK GIANTS (via Cleveland)||Greedy Williams, CB, LSU||Greedy had a very late stock uprise. His stock has been up and down, but the NFL is a passing league and a DB is the notable counter move. NYG needs DL and DB help = D.U.N DONE!|
|18||MINNESOTA||Dalton Risner, OT Kansas State||My personal fav. of the OL class. Class act, blue collar, normal-man and long term guy. Plug him at RT or RG and forget about the position for 10 years.|
|19||TENNESSEE||Marquise Brown, WR, OKLAHOMA||The Titans want to be a running team, but they never commit to the run. They’ve leaned on an injured Marcus Mariota no matter the injury. So if Derreck Henry is “your guy” and “workhorse” (who they still do not use, except on occasions) at least prepare Mariota with a speed guy he can really rely on.|
|20||PITTSBURGH||Byron Murphy, CB, Washington||Murphy is a real DB, not solely based on speed or scheme. He is a football player who thwacks and covers, zone and press. Go Dawgs!|
|21||SEATTLE||Montez Sweat, EDGE,Mississippi State||Sweat’s is a top ten guy, but a heart condition caused his stock to slip. Frank Clark’s replacement (and equal). Sweat is big, fast and really really good. He will be better than Clark, and faster too.|
|22||BALTIMORE||D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss||Metcalf should go sooner than this, but his college stats are hindering his professional potential. DK is a wow factor and helps the WORST wide receiver core in the league. Only hiccup, their QB can’t pass worth a shit.|
|23||HOUSTON||Garrett Bradbury, C/OG, North Carolina State||The Texans need O-Line help more than anything. A good CB could be an option here too, but this team will start to lean heavily on their QB this year, protect him better…|
|24||OAKLAND (via Chicago)||Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia||Mayock know’s the Raiders need three levels of quality denfeisve players (D-Line, LB and DB) and the Raiders could possibly draft three defensvie players in the first round. Baker is a turnover machine.|
|25||PHILADELPHIA||Devin Bush, ILB, Michigan||Probably the worst LB core in the league. Bush is Bobby Wagner day one.|
|26||INDIANAPOLIS||Dexter Lawrence, DL, Clemson||Lawrence could possibly be this drafts best player (and available at #26 = WIN), but since nose tackles (zero tech DT’s) are a little undervalued in the NFL Draft, the Colts find a possible centerpiece to their D-Line. Play him has a 5-Tech DE in Indy’s 3-4 and he can excel.|
|27||OAKLAND (via Dallas)||Noah Fant, TE, Iowa||Need pick here and also a red zone primary option. The Raiders might be loaded at WR with AB and (House) Tyrell Williams, but neither are red-zone guys (both are YAC guys). Fant is your big slot / mismatch red-zone & 3rd down converter.|
|28||LOS ANGELES CHARGERS||Cody Ford, OL, Oklahoma||Ford can go as early as early as #18, but falls right to a Chargers need. Ford can start immediately at Right Tackle, and with Forrest Lamp projected at right guard, the L.A. o-line looks to be a team strength, which has not been notable in 10 years. Tom Telesco is quite predicable, considering his alternating O vs. D every first round pick, every year.|
|29||SEATTLE||N’Keal Harry WR Arizona State||Harry is a STEAL at this pick. Just watch an ASU game = N’Keal sticks out, big time… Russell Wilson finally gets a true #1 WR. (Hey, Angry Doug… you are a #1 too, but all these surgeries are making us worried about your career).|
|30||GREEN BAY (via New Orleans)||Jaylon Ferguson, Edge, LOUISIANA TECH||Mr. Sack. His game tape sells him alone. BPA and stackologist.|
|31||LOS ANGELES RAMS||Greg Little, OT, Ole Miss||O-Line is the target and a possible LT available at #31? Wow. Little has some work to do, but he’s a prototypical left tackle. He can be really-really good (and can start at RG day one, switching to LT when Andrew Whitworth retires).|
|32||NEW ENGLAND||Daniel Jones, QB, Duke||There will be a team targeting Jones a lot earlier than this (like the Chargers or NYG). But if not, Brady’s replacement is finally on the roster.|
4/9/2019 – by James Fedewa @jamfed
Mock draft 3.0, YES! Now I am feeling this seasons draft. Researching these rookie prospects is getting more and more interesting and we are all more excited about the upcoming Draft Day.
Kyler Murray will probably slide, and so will the inside linebackers, Devon White and Devon Bush. Nick Bosa will go #1 overall, even though he is a little stiff and injury prone. Quinnen Williams will probably slide to #3 (and I believe he is the #1 overall prospect), but the Jets might trade this pick before they select. Dwayne Haskins is still the top quarterback in this class, as 50 touch down passes (in his FIRST year as a starter) is just too tantalizing for Denver to pass up. Did Hollywood Brown’s knee injury cause him to slid out of the first round? And Tom Brady’s replacement???
Please let me know what you think. Open dialog and communication is always admired and answered:
|1||ARIZONA||Nick Bosa, Edge, Ohio State||A good blend of power, technique, and DNA, Nick Bosa is the premier pass rusher in this draft. A few nagging injuries have limited his playtime, but nothing major. Kyler Murray is not the solution in AZ (Undersized, one-year starters are rarely first overall picks.) Lets not forget who is running this team: Steve Keim. Keim is the guy who drafted Josh Rosen and if he bails out now, ownership will have his head. Rosen remains Chosen.|
|2||SAN FRANCISCO||Josh Allen, Edge, Kentucky||Allen can complement newcomer Dee Ford on the edge. Quinnen Williams could also be the selection here, but SF has plenty of interior D-linemen already. Allen is really fun to watch and can easily be the #1 overall pick.|
|3||NEW YORK JETS||Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama||Best player in the draft that can play anywhere on the D-Line. BPA (but look for a trade down – maybe even just one spot to Oakland)|
|4||OAKLAND||Rashan Gary, Edge, Michigan||Gary might not have the best stats in college, but he is a beast. Mike Mayock loves his height, weight, speed guys and Gary is THAT guy. Speed and Power pass rusher can improve Oakland’s defense (but if Mayock wants Q.Williams). Is he better than K.Mack? No, but different too.|
|5||TAMPA BAY||Ed Oliver, DL, Houston||Tampa’s defense could not stop anyone last season. Oliver might be a Swiss Army Knife for the defense and could play 3-Tech, 5 Tech or Zero Tech on the D-line (and possibly play a bit of ILB). Put him anywhere on the defense and he will impact the game. Bruce Arians will move Oliver all over the defense. An EDGE guy could be drafted here too, but I expect DE Noah Spence to break out this year opposite of JPP.|
|6||NEW YORK GIANTS||Montez Sweat, EDGE, Mississippi State||Giants are OK with Eli at QB (for the moment) and he could be a solid game manager with their much-improved O-Line, but the defense needs massive attention. Sweat will apply the heat, which will also improve the secondary.|
|7||JACKSONVILLE||Jawaan Taylor, OT, Florida||Jacksonville’s O-line gets a nice upgrade with a road-grading right tackle. Their weak o-line might now be a strength. He’s like a quick DJ Fluker|
|8||DETROIT||Brian Burns, EDGE, Florida State||Ziggy who? Burns can heat-up the QB pressure in the NFC North. Burns could be a better 3-4 OLB, but I think his focus should only be in pass rushing, hand in the dirt, down lineman.|
|9||BUFFALO||D.K. Metcalf, WR, Ole Miss||The Bills finally drafted a solid QB prospect last year, but who is he going to toss the ball to? Metcalf is a top 10 talent that is still learning the ins and outs of the position. He can develop into a #1 option for Josh Allen.|
|10||DENVER||Dwayne Haskins, QB Ohio State||Flacco could flourish in Denver, but he will need a lot more help than what is currently there on offense. OL Jonah Williams or OT Andre Dillard would be the smart picks here, but Haskins is just better prospect (Haskins 50 TD’s in just too good to pass up). How often do you get the best QB prospect with the 10th pick in the draft? Flacco is a temp.|
|11||CINCINNATI||Jonah Williams, OL, Alabama||Williams can play anywhere on the O-Line, and he will help the run game and pass protection. Andy Dalton has struggled without a quality O-Line. Plug him in at RT.|
|12||GREEN BAY||Andre Dillard, OT, Washington State||Free agency filled a lot of Defensive holes in the off-season, so the draft will focus on the offense. Dillard can play RT and shift Bulaga inside (or cut him)|
|13||MIAMI||Clelin Ferrell, Edge, Clemson||This team is looking for a whole new identity and their new coach will begin with the defense. With Cam Wake and Robert Quinn gone, Ferrell is not only wanted, he is needed.|
|14||ATLANTA||Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson||The Falcons will focus on the D-Line, and Wilkins will quickly be a big disrupter. If Grady Jarrett cannot get a long-term contract, Wilkins can be his replacement.|
|15||WASHINGTON||Kyler Murray, QB, Oklahoma||Murray slides a bit, and falls to a team that already has a bunch of undersized QB’s on their roster. I do not think Murray is a top 10 draft-talent, but he is polarizing and is still gets drafted in the middle of the first round. 1 year experience at 5’-10” does not equate to a top 10 pick. **Granted, I though Baker Mayfield should have been drafted #12 overall in 2018.|
|16||CAROLINA||Dalton Risner, OT Kansas State||Carolina really needs a good edge rusher here, but the early run on DE’s will make them wait and go OT. Risner can play EVERY O-Line position, but I’d plug him in at LT.|
|17||NEW YORK GIANTS (via Cleveland)||Drew Lock, QB, Missouri||The wait worked! The Giants take the QB they always coveted in this draft. Having Eli’s replacement on the roster eases the entire NYG fan base. Lock has a ton of experience, playing against quality SEC competition.|
|18||MINNESOTA||Cody Ford, OL, Oklahoma||Offensive line is the priority need here Ford can play RT or OG and the Vikings need upgrades all over their O-Line.|
|19||TENNESSEE||T.J. Hockenson, TE, Iowa||The new quadruplets are created: Hock, Corey Davis, Derrick Henry and Tannehill? WAIT, WHAT? Bye Bye Marcus Mariota…|
|20||PITTSBURGH||Byron Murphy, CB, Washington||Murphy is a great fit for a Pitt DB. Major upgrade over Artie Burns|
|21||SEATTLE||Greedy Williams, CB, LSU||Seattle needs some receiving offensive weapons, but the best DB in the draft falls to them, in the twenties? Easy pick…|
|22||BALTIMORE||N’Keal Harry WR Arizona State||Baltimore is not afraid to draft WR’s in the first round, without a lot of success. And they will continue to gamble with Harry. He’s big, fast and strong, not a little slot guy. If you watch ASU games, he is consistently the best player on the field.|
|23||HOUSTON||Garrett Bradbury, C, North Carolina State||Protect the QB! You have a good one, just protect him BETTER! Bradbury not only can pass protect, he can also open holes for the running game. Great pick!|
|24||OAKLAND (via Chicago)||Devin White, ILB, Georgia||White is a top ten talent (physically), but ILB’s are not top ten worthy in recent drafts. Mayock takes the BPA and a position of need.|
|25||PHILADELPHIA||Devin Bush, ILB, Michigan||A new left tackle (like Greg Little) might be their target, but Philly should focus on being more of a defensive minded team. Bush could be their answer.|
|26||INDIANAPOLIS||Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia||Ball Hawk, CHECK! Baker can go as early as #14, and I’m SHOCKED that the Raiders didn’t take him at 24.|
|27||OAKLAND (via Dallas)||Noah Fant, TE, Iowa||With two defenders already taken with the Raiders first two picks, they better get an offensive weapon. Fant will compliment Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams very well.|
|28||LOS ANGELES CHARGERS||Dexter Lawrence, DL, Clemson|| Every time I get to this pick, I want to select an offense player, like a OT, OG or even a TE. Last time around I mocked a big CB here too, which would be great, same with an LB. But if Lawrence falls to #28, he will probably be the pick. I just do not see Tommy Telesco drafting a zero-tech DT in the first round. But with Luiget and Philon gone, and with Mebane’s age; DT is the pick.
…but Daniel Jones, QB, from Duke would be a great replacement for Rivers at this pick, but Rivers does not expect to retire in the next 3 years. Tyrod will keep the backup QB job for a bit.
|29||KANSAS CITY||Jaylon Ferguson, Edge, LOUISIANA TECH||With Ford and Houston out, KC needs to pressure the QB somehow. Ferguson can sack the QB, hole filled.|
|30||GREEN BAY (via New Orleans)||Marquise Brown, WR, OKLAHOMA||Browns knee makes him slide a bit, and Green Bay gets a little Hollywood.|
|31||LOS ANGELES RAMS||Erik McCoy C/OG Texas A&M||Any offensive lineman at this spot will work, but McCoy is not just ANY O-lineman. Great pick.|
|32||NEW ENGLAND||Daniel Jones, QB, Duke||Some team is going to target Jones a lot earlier than this (like the Chargers). But if not, Brady’s replacement is finally on the roster.|
11/5/2018 by James Fedewa @jamfed
The Los Angeles Chargers beat the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, with a most impressive & complete team win. Philip Rivers was a surgeon on the field, cutting & slicing up the Seattle defense with relatively easy chunk plays. But this was not Rivers best game of the season, as the Seahawks kept Rivers completion percentage to a season low, 50%. Rivers only had 13 completions, but had 228 pass yards, with a massive 17.5 yards average per completion and two touchdowns.
Running back Melvin Gordon was also fantastic & extremely efficient, rushing 16 times with 113 yards (7.1 rush yards per attempt), including a 10 yard reception and one rushing touchdown.
Keenan Allen also had 6 receptions for 124 yards and two rushes for 14 yards, but he also had two very important 3rd down drops (that were perfectly thrown passes by Rivers).
Seattle dominated the time of possession of the game, and had a decent late game comeback, but with 6:45 in the 4th quarter, Russell Wilson threw a pick-six to nickle-corner Desmond King, which looked like the knockout blow. The Seahawks still scrapped back with an impressive comeback attempt, but with the final play of the game, Chargers Safety Jaleel Addai tipped a potential TD completion, causing the final play to be a game ending incompletion. Charger 25 / Seahawks 17
**The most notable errors of the game were caused by Los Angeles kicker Caleb Sturgis, who missed two extra points and missed a 42 yard field goal, leaving 5 point on the field. Early in the first quarter, the Chargers also attempted a two point conversion, which also failed.
10/8/2018 – by James Fedewa
The Chargers beat the Raiders on Sunday, which always draws smiles on Monday Mornings. I did not get to watch the game on my big screen TV, but I watched it mobile (on my phone, thanks to DirecTV Sunday Ticket App). Often real life can get in the way of a game or two, as my 9 year old had a soccer game at 1:55pm. But I did watch and listen to the game. And of course, I recorded the game and I will watch it again later tonight.
Although, I really do not have anything significant to post right now, until I re-watch the game, I just wanted to post something that recognized what the Chargers did for my Monday; They made it “Good-Monday,” or a better Monday.
…Which still makes me wonder why the Raiders would trade Khalil Mack, unless they knew this season is a wash and considered a rebuilding season under new Head Coach Jon Gurden. That being said, maybe pass rushers can be found easier than quarterbacks in the NFL Draft. If the Raiders were to trade away Mack, then why not also trade away Derek Carr? …I don’t get it… #FTR
By James Fedewa – 4/25/2018 @jamfed
This is my final mock draft of the 2018 season and this draft season was awesome. Normally, I have about twenty-five different mock drafts created (over four month span), but this season was less about content and more about team analysis and getting the pick correct. I would always publish a new draft every week or two (to get more hits on my blog) but this year was less click related and more research related. I researched a lot more about every team need and what their fans think, and of course I watched a ton of player game tape too.
Honestly, my favorite player in this draft is Josh Rosen and I think he should be the #1 overall prospect, but not everyone agrees, so I will mock him going #2 overall. Sometimes it not a guessing game based on ranking, or where I think players should go, but now I am trying to get the pick correct. Yet, mock drafts are always a guessing game, and one weird draft pick can skew a entire draft.
Your feedback is GOLD, so please leave a reply:
|Sam Darnold, QB, USC||The twenty-year-old and red-shirt sophomore, Sam Darnold, goes #1 overall. Darnold’s skill-set, toughness and youth make him the premier QB prospect, with his improv skills and movement within the pocket are the best in class. Possibly the safest quarterback in the draft. Darnold can learn the position for a year before he takes the Cleveland QB reigns.|
NEW YORK GIANTS
|Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA||Eli Manning has at least two solid more years in NYC (& the NFL), but with #2 overall pick for the Giants, it is the perfect time to find Eli’s replacement. There is no rush to start Rosen either, which will give him time to learn under Eli. Rosen could also have the “Brees-Effect” to Eli’s career as well (as Brees did not flourish until Philip Rivers became a Charger, then Brees became All-Pro).|
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 thought, 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 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.|
|Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State||What, not Saquon Barkley here? Nope… Chubb is the top edge prospect in ’18 and can easily go #1 or #2 overall. 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 quality pass rushers are just harder to find than running backs. Some of the highest paid players in the league are pass rushers, and 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.|
|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 to protect their new QB investment would be a good idea, 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.|
|Quenton 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.|
TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS
|Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Alabama||The Bucs needs a quality free-lancing safety and is really a great match for the Tampa secondary. I wanted to put the top-rated CB here, but Denzel Ward is nearly identical in size to Hargreaves and Grimes. The 6′ 1″ Fitzpatrick has the ability to play any DB position, can play the nickel spot very well, and fill the FS position of need immediately. Best DB in the draft.|
|Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA||Davenport performed remarkably at the Senior Bowl, and did outstanding at the combine. He has rare tools and size you look for in an edge pass rusher and he will be a great one. A wide receiver could also be a good target here, but at #8 could be a little too early for under-sided Calvin Ridley.|
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
|Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State||The 49ers defensive secondary has potential, but lacks something. Weather it’s a safety or cornerback, either position is the top position of needed. San Francisco choose the best cornerback in this year’s draft and Ward can play outside or inside at nickel. Despite being a little small for the top CB in this draft (5′ 10″ @ 183 lbs.), he is every down talent, regardless of position. He can be a pro bowl outside cornerback in the NFL. Isaiah Oliver could also be the selection here, as the 49ers are trying to replicate the Seattle “BIG DB” coverage and defensive scheme. This defense is loaded with first round picks.|
|Tremaine Edwards, LB, Virginia Tech||Linebackers in the first round are very rare. And if they are drafted in the first round, they have either elite speed (Darron Lee / Ryan Shazier 34ILB) or tremendous playmaking ability (Luke Kuechly 43MLB). Tremaine Edwards has both speed, playmaking ability, and elite size (6′ 5″ 250). He can play inside or outside, and can turn this Raiders defense into a formidable force. Tremaine is very raw, but he is an athletic freak and a great 1st round LB talent, based on athletic freakiness. Day one starter at Strongside linebacker. **Gruden should trade-down with whomever wants Lamar Jackson or Baker Mayfield. The Raiders defense could also use a DT and two more cornerbacks.|
|Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia||Roquan Smith is fun to watch and is a tackling machine, but the Miami defensive already has three descent linebackers, but none of them are as flashy, fast and amazing Smith. Even with losing Nadomican Suh, with the new additions on the Miami defense, they look very talent and possibly the team’s strength. Smith is a day one starter at SAM linebacker. **I had Smith falling in this draft to the Lions at 20, as linebackers tend to fall in the NFL Draft.|
|Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma||Mayfield’s lack of height will cause him to slide out of the top 10. He is accurate and he does show his passion, but he is still undersized. The last 6′ QB to be drafted in the first round was Johnny Manziel, but JFF’s combine and pro-day were phenomenal. Both Manziel and Mayfield did win Heisman trophies, but they are two completely different types of QB’s. Mayfield will slide a bit in this draft, just like Drew Brees, Derek Carr, Jimmy Garoppolo and even Jake Plumber – who were all very good second round draft picks (none of whom were very tall). **This just feels like Doug Flutie 2.0 – Buffalo will NOT have to trade up to get their desired QB. I still think this is way too early for an undersized quarterback.|
|Derwin James, S, Florida State||James is very fluid, smooth and a big hitter, he is an instant upgrade for the Redskins defense. Many fans believe a DT would be ideal at this spot, but with DE Johnathan Allen returning from injury, the DL should be improved (and played great, when he played). The Washington defense looks very good (on paper), with the addition of Derwin James.|
GREEN BAY PACKERS
|Harold Landry, EDGE, Boston College||Landry looked great at the Senior Bowl and shows superior bend as an edge rusher (especially as a 34 OLB). Clay Matthews may have to shift in an ILB permanently. His stock has been rising very quickly, from 2 months ago.|
|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. Mike Glennon is the current backup QB, which makes Arizona a very pocket passing oriented team. However, the Arizona O-Line better than you would expect, but they are very thin and if injuries occur (and they will), Lamar Jackson could see some playing time this year. Jackson has quick feet and lightning speed, and could probably flourish behind any offensive line (a lot better than Bradford or Glennon might). Jackson will start several games this season, and could develop into a long-term franchise quarterback.|
|Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama||The Ravens and Joe Flacco need some quality wideouts and Ridley looks like an (GM) Ozzie Newsome type of selection. The Ravens have already signed WR’s Michael Crabtree, John Brown and Willie Snead (and none are WR1’s). Adding a forth new WR is not out of the picture, considering Mike Wallace and Jeremy Maclin are gone, and 2015 first round selection Perriman could be released.|
LOS ANGELES CHARGERS
|Vita Vea, DT, Washington||The Chargers roster looks pretty good right now, and they do not have too many pressing needs. They rush defense could use some improvement, so DT and LB could be the target. Capitan Brandon Mebane is getting older and his play did decline last season, so the Chargers target Vita Vea. Vea has the size and anchor of a classic nose-tackle, with good speed, power and pass-rush of a 3-tech DT. He is the best DT prospect in the draft. Vea can go as early at #10 to the Raiders, but watching Danny Sheldon get traded from Cleveland (for a ham sandwich) shows the NFL’s current value of first round nose-tackles. Vea is better than #17.|
|Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado||Size Matters, especially within the Seattle secondary. has freakishly long arms, elite size, length and speed. Oliver is better than you think, and this is a pure Legion of Boom (LOB) pick. Day one starter and star.|
|DJ Moore, WR, Maryland||Releasing Dez Bryant had to be done, and the Cowboys always have high expectations and playoff asperations. But every playoff contenders need that true WR1. DJ Moore has the top end speed and size to become that WR1 and can demand double coverage outside, opening lanes for the Cowboys run game. Without a doubt, the Cowboys will draft a WR in the 1st round, just to keep the passing game relevant, to help open lanes in the running game.|
|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. Hurst has excellent pass rushing skills and is a quality leader. New head coach Matt Patricia could go RB or CB here too, but a pass rushing DT is a great first pick.|
|Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama||Drafting and investing into your defensive line is always a good thing. You can never have too many defensive tackles either and ever since Domata Peko left, a quality nose tackle needs to be found. Andrew Billings is the current NT, but he was average and missed several games with injuries (plus he was a 4th rounder). Geno Akins with Da’Ron Payne looks and feels even more intimidating. A center could also be a target here, but the O-line has already been upgraded with Cordy Glenn.|
|Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame||In many mock drafts, McGlinchey is being shifted to right tackle, when he played left tackle in college. But being drafted to Buffalo, he’s staying put at left tackle (a current need since trading Cordy Glenn). Plus, he is better than he gets credit for. A 6′ 8″ quick footed tackle can get much better, add some additional weight, and is the best offensive tackle in this draft.|
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
|Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa||Jackson has the desired size and upside you look for in an NFL cornerback, and could go as early as #14. *A timing error occurred at the combine changed his unofficial clocked time, possibly causing his stock to slip. Last season, Jackson led the nation in interceptions (8), passed defensed (26) with two interception/touchdowns. He’s more of a zone CB, but at 6′ 1″ he’s a taller zone CB, which is very desirable (most zone CB’s are on the smaller size, so he’s a quick reading and twitchy DB with length).|
|Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville||SPEED! Alexander lit up the combine with 4.38 40-yard dash and the Panthers needs some speed in their secondary. Ever since Josh Norman left in free agency, Carolina have been looking for his replacement. A 4.3 forty could also vault him even higher, as I could see the Raiders at #10 draft him too.|
|Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama||The Titans inside linebackers need a complete overhaul and new head coach (and ex-linebacker) Mike Vrabel knows it. The Titians have not draft a defensive player in the first round since 2010 (7 straight years). Evans is a thumper at ILB, and he is also very mulit-dimensional. He can play every LB position in a 3-4 defense. He is also a thinker, very cerebral and a quality leader. He could go as early as #14 to the Packers|
|Taven Bryan, DT, Florida||This seems like a popular spot for Bryan. Bryan has the size, power and speed to play up and down the defensive line, which is a nice fit for Atlanta’s defense. He is the Michael Bennett of Dan Quinn’s defense.|
NEW ORLEANS SAINTS
|Mike Hughes, CB, UCF||Saints could go many directions here. An edge rusher with speed seems to make the most sense to the D-line, but, when rookie sensation Marshon Lattimore when down for a couple of game last year, the Saints were exposed. Signing Patrick Robinson will help the secondary, but Hughes’ will help long term. Plus, Hughes’ extra bonus is his special-team’s ability, as he is a potential pro-bowl punt returner too.|
|Connor Williams, OT, Texas||The Steelers are a complete mystery with this pick. They have an outstanding roster, but can address some depth as they do have some aged veteran (including Ben Roethlisberger / i.e. Mason Rudolph? – no). Williams could be their left tackle, but he could also play left guard, and upgrade from Ramon Foster.|
|Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU||Jacksonville’s wide receivers need some new talent and lot of help, but so does the quarterback play. Mason Rudolph could be an excellent selection here too. Sutton is a big WR and looks like he can develop into a WR1. Sutton is also a tremendous blocker, ideal for a run first team.|
|Isiah Wynn, G, Georgia||The Vikings spent a lot of money on free agent offensive tackles last offseason, yet the O-Line still needs to improve. Isiah Wynn is projected to play guard, has amazing feet for lineman his size and can start day one in Minnesota.|
NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
|Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State||The Patriots can use some new edge pass rushers. Hubbard is not the fastest guy and he does not have a lot of bend, but he is all motor and all heart. He can begin aa very good rotational defensive line player and develop into a great pass rusher (and he looks like a Patriot type of player). Sure Mason Rudolph or a left tackle can be drafted here, but I do not think Bill Belichick drafts out of need, but he drafts as best player available.|
|Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State||When mock-drafts have the Eagles drafting a running back, their fans snap. The Eagles RB’s are will well above average, but the linebacking crew can use an upgrade. LVE will become a fan favorite in Philly.|
By James Fedewa 4/13/18 @jamfed
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. Read the rest of this entry
1/23/2018 by James Fedewa
NFL Draft season is officially underway, which give me a solid purpose of writing in our blog again. Since the San Diego Chargers are no longer in San Diego, that aspect of this blog has been a little tarnished, as I lost a little passion for the Chargers. Yet, I’m still a Chargers fan, watched every game, bought NFL Sunday Ticket (again) and even went to the Seahawks/Chargers preseason game in Los Angeles. But, there is something just missing and it is probably internal, and I barely wrote anything this NFL Season.
I have grown up and spent most of my life in California (from San Diego, Bakersfield and San Jose) and I feel very connected to the state (and to my friends/family that are still there). Granted, I moved away from San Diego 10 years ago, up to the Pacific Northwest, so I have been removed quite a bit already. Being away from California has made me realize how other states run a better operation (including local NFL teams), as California politics, taxes and over population are so tainted. So when the Chargers moved from San Diego to Los Angeles, I was upset, but then again, I moved from San Diego and still remained a Chargers fan. I guess that means if I moved, they can move too, and we all can still remain “mutual” dependents.
The other segments of our blog is to focus on unique craft beers (and breweries), to go along with the NFL Draft (plus the Chargers), so I should have plenty to write and blog about since everyone loves the NFL Draft and a nice cold beer. However, my beer rating app/website failed and went under, so most of my beer reviews are gone (but I still have about 70% them saved); so there is “Strike Two!” (the move to LA and my beer app company going out of business). Since our blog has been struck with a couple of “body blows” (well, at least in my opinion), we still have a positive and a re-visioned primary purpose: THE NFL DRAFT
And when I say “OUR BLOG” I really just mean MY blog, but since my family is always around me, they impact everything I write about, so it is really ours, not just mine. I have a 7 year old boy, 9 year old girl and a wonderful wife – granted, none of them are Chargers fans. My interests can also be their interests too.
Senior Bowl week is upon us, so while I work, and in my free time, I can also focus on the new 2018 NFL prospects, the Senior Bowl practices and game, (as well The East West Shrine Game), NFL team needs and the countless hours of college game tape.
So CHEERS to the NFL Draft and Draft Season!