2018 NFL Round 3 Mock Draft: This is my final mock for the draft.
65. Buffalo Bills: (C) Bradley Bozeman (Alabama): Already selected Josh Allen (QB) and Anthony Miller (WR).
66. New York Giants: (QB) Luke Falk (Washington State): Already selected Saquon Barkley (RB) and Braden Smith (OG).
67. Indianapolis Colts: (DT) Derrick Nnadi (Florida State): Already selected Roquan Smith (ILB), Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (DE), Tyrell Crosby (OT), and Ronald Jones II (RB).
68. Houston Texans: (CB) Quenton Meeks (Stanford): This is their first pick of this year’s NFL draft.
69. New York Giants: (C) Austin Corbett (Nevada): Already selected Saquon Barkley (RB), Braden Smith (OG), and Luke Falk (QB).
70. San Francisco 49ers: (DE) Duke Ejiofor (Wake Forest): Already selected Minkah Fitzpatrick (FS) and Deontay Burnett (WR).
71. Denver Broncos: (CB) Carlton Davis (Auburn): Already selected Bradley Chubb (DE) and Orlando Brown (OT).
72. New York Jets: (DE) Jeff Holland (Auburn): Already selected Baker Mayfield (QB).
73. Miami Dolphins: (WR) Christian Kirk (Texas A&M): Already selected Maurice Hunt (DT) and Darius Leonard (OLB).
74. San Francisco 49ers: (OG) Wyatt Teller (Virginia Tech): Already selected Minkah Fitzpatrick (FS), Deontay Burnett (WR), and Duke Ejiofor (DE).
75. Oakland Raiders: (DT) RJ McIntosh (Miami): Already selected Tremaine Edmunds (ILB) and Holton Hill (CB).
76. Green Bay Packers: (OLB) Skai Moore (South Carolina): Already selected Josh Jackson (CB) and Michael Gallup (WR).
77. Cincinnati Bengals: (OLB) Uchenna Nwosu (USC): Already selected Frank Ragnow (C) and Harrison Phillips (DT).
78. Kansas City Chiefs: (DT) BJ Hill (NC State): Already selected Mike Hughes (CB).
79. Arizona Cardinals: (SS) Ronnie Harrison (Alabama): Already selected Lamar Jackson (QB) and Marcell Ateman (WR).
80. Houston Texans: (TE) Mark Andrews (Oklahoma): Already selected Quenton Meeks (CB).
81. Dallas Cowboys: (OLB) Fred Warner (BYU): Already selected Calvin Ridley (WR) and Tim Settle (DT).
82. Detroit Lions: (RB) Sony Michel (Georgia): Already selected Harold Landry (DE) and Mike Gesicki (TE).
83. Baltimore Ravens: (TE) Ian Thomas (Indiana): Already selected Courtland Sutton (WR) and Billy Price (C).
84. LA Chargers: (ILB) Oren Burks (Vanderbilt): Already selected Mason Rudolph (QB), Connor Williams (OT), and Josh Sweat (DE).
85. Carolina Panthers: (DE) Arden Key (LSU): Already selected DJ Moore (WR) and M.J. Stewart (CB).
86. Kansas City Chiefs: (DE) Lorenzo Carter (Georgia): Already selected BJ Hill (DT) and Mike Hughes (CB).
87. LA Rams: (ILB) Jason Cabinda (Penn State): This is their first pick in this draft.
88. Carolina Panthers: (FS) Quin Blanding (Virginia): Already selected DJ Moore (WR), M.J. Stewart (CB), and Arden Key (DE).
89. Tennessee Titans: (WR) Allen Lazard (Iowa State): Already selected Marcus Davenport (DE) and Martina Rankin (C).
90. Atlanta Falcons: (DE) Lorenzo Carter (Georgia): Already selected Da’Ron Payne (DT) and Tre’Quan Smith (WR).
91. New Orleans Saints: (QB) Kyle Lauletta (Richmond): Already selected Dallas Goedert (TE).
92. Pittsburgh Steelers: (WR) Cedrick Wilson (Boise State): Already selected Rasheen Evans (ILB) and Kameron Kelly (CB/S).
93. Jacksonville Jaguars: (OLB) Genard Avery (Memphis): Already selected James Washington (WR) and Jamarco Jones (OT).
94. Minnesota Vikings: (FS) Tarvarius Moore (Southern Mississippi): Already selected Will Hernandez (OG) and DJ Reed (CB).
95. New England Patriots: (DE) Chad Thomas (Miami): Already selected Josh Rosen (QB), Jaire Alexander (CB), and Malik Jefferson (OLB).
96. Buffalo Bills: (RB) Nick Chubb (Georgia): Already selected Josh Allen (QB), Anthony Miller (WR), and Bradley Bozeman (C).
97. Arizona Cardinals: (OG) Taylor Hearn (Clemson): Already selected Lamar Jackson (QB), Marcell Ateman (WR), Ronnie Harrison (SS).
98. Houston Texans: (DE) Justin Lawler (SMU): Already selected Quenton Meeks (CB) and Mark Andrews (TE).
99. Denver Broncos: (RB) Royce Freeman (Oregon): Already selected Bradley Chubb (DE), Orlando Brown (OT), and Carlton Davis (CB).
100. Cincinnati Bengals: (RB) Kerryon Johnson (Auburn): Already selected Frank Ragnow (C), Harrison Phillips (DT), and Uchenna Nwosu (USC).
- Matt Koontz
Round 2 2018 NFL Mock Draft:
33. New Orleans Saints (Mock Trade with the Browns for pick #27): (TE) Dallas Goedert (South Dakota State): This is their first pick after trading out of round 1.
34. New York Giants: (OG) Braden Smtih (Auburn): Already selected Saquon Barkley (RB)
35. Cleveland Browns: (FS) Justin Reid (Stanford): Already selected, Sam Darnold (QB), Mike
McGlinchey (OT), Denzel Ward (CB), Kolton Miller (OT).
36. Indianapolis Colts: (DE) Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (Oklahoma): Already selected Roquan Smith (ILB)
37. Indianapolis Colts: (OT) Tyrell Crosby (Oregon): Already selected Roquan Smith (ILB) and Ogbonnia Okoronwko (DE).
38. Philadelphia Eagles: (OLB) Leighton Vander Esch (Boise State): This is their first pick after trading out of round 1.
39. Chicago Bears: (CB) Isaiah Oliver (Colorado): Already selected Quenton Nelson (OG).
40. Denver Broncos: (OT) Orlando Brown (Oklahoma): Already selected Bradley Chubb (DE).
41. Oakland Raiders: (CB) Holton Hill (Texas): Already selected Tremaine Edmunds (ILB).
42. Miami Dolphins: (OLB) Darius Leonard (South Carolina State): Already selected Maurice Hurst (DT).
43. LA Chargers (Mock trade from the Patriots for pick #17): (OT) Connor Williams (Texas): Already selected Mason Rudolph (QB).
44. Washington Redskins: (CB) Greg Stroman (Virginia Tech): Already selected Vita Vea (DT).
45. Green Bay Packers: (WR) Michael Gallup (Colorado State): Already selected Josh Jackson (CB).
46. Cincinnati Bengals: (DT) Harrison Phillips (Stanford): Already selected Frank Ragnow (C).
47. Arizona Cardinals: (WR) Marcell Ateman (Oklahoma State): Already selected Lamar Jackson (QB).
48. LA Chargers: (DE) Josh Sweat (Florida State): Already selected, Mason Rudolph (QB) and Connor Williams (OT).
49. Indianapolis Colts: (RB) Ronald Jones II (USC): Already selected, Roquan Smith (ILB), Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (DE), and Tyrell Crosby (OT).
50. Dallas Cowboys: (DT) Tim Settle (Virginia Tech): Already selected Calvin Ridley (WR).
51. Detroit Lions: (TE) Mike Gesicki (Penn State): Already selected Harold Landry (DE).
52. Baltimore Ravens: (C) Billy Price (Ohio State): Already selected Courtland Sutton (WR).
53. Buffalo Bills: (WR) Anthony Miller (Memphis): Already selected Josh Allen (QB).
54. Kansas City Chiefs: (CB) Mike Hughes (UCF): This is their first pick of the draft.
55. Carolina Panthers: (CB) M.J. Stewart (North Carolina): Already selected DJ Moore (WR).
56. New Orleans Saints (Mock trade from the Browns who got it from the Bills): (TE) Troy Fumagalli (Wisconsin): Already selected, Sam Darnold (QB), Mike McGlinchey (OT), Denzel Ward (CB), Kolton Miller (OT), and Justin Reid (FS).
57. Tennessee Titans: (C) Martinas Rankin (Miss. State): Already selected Marcus Davenport (DE).
58. Atlanta Falcons: (WR) Tre’Quan Smith (UCF): Already selected Da’Ron Payne (DT).
59. San Francisco 49ers: (WR) Deontay Burnett (USC): Already selected Minkah Fitzpatrick (FS).
60. Pittsburgh Steelers: (CB/S) Kameron Kelly (San Diego State): Already selected Rasheen Evans (ILB).
61. Jacksonville Jaguars: (OT) Jamarco Jones (Ohio State): Already selected James Washington (WR).
62. Minnesota Vikings: (CB) DJ Reed (Kansas State): Already selected Will Hernandez (OG).
63. New England Patriots: (OLB) Malik Jefferson (Texas): Already selected Josh Rosen (QB) and Jaire Alexander (CB).
64. Cleveland Browns: (WR) Auden Tate (Florida State): Already selected, Sam Darnold (QB), Mike McGlinchey (OT), Denzel Ward (CB), Kolton Miller (OT), and Justin Reid (FS).
- Matt Koontz
NFL 2018 Mock Draft: I will be posting my 2nd round mock on 4/26 in the morning of the NFL draft. Here is my first round mock.
1. Cleveland Browns: (QB) Sam Darnold (USC): This kid needs a year to become the star he has the potential to be. The NFL fan base and expectations to push a QB to an instant starter is bad for these kids. They need to be patient and let him blossom a year behind Tyrod would be so great for him because once he figures out how the NFL game works he could be a pro bowler. I think of him like a Patrick Mahomes. Other pick that the Browns could make here: Baker Mayfield (QB)
2. New York Giants: (RB) Saquon Barkley (Penn State): I know that everyone believes he is the 2nd coming of Barry Sanders or whatever but I believe he is not even close. I believe he will be a mistake at pick number 2 as I personally don’t believe he will ever be a top 5 running back in the NFL at any point in his career. He will be a top 10 but I don’t think a top 5 will happen. He has great athleticism and speed but his ability to run between the tackles concerns me and I think he dances around in the backfield too much which will get him swallowed up in the NFL. His ceiling is very high but his floor is really low with being picked this high. Other pick that makes sense here is Josh Allen or Sam Darnold (QB)
3. New York Jets from Indianapolis Colts: (QB) Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma): Everyone says this is basically a done deal. I think this is a horrible pick. I don’t think Mayfield will become a star in the NFL maybe at his best an NFL average QB but his off the field issues are what concern me the most. I compare him to Drew Brees talent wise, but his attitude issue Johnny Manziel. Other pick that makes sense Bradley Chubb. (DE)
4. Buffalo Bills (Mock Trade) From Browns from Texans: (QB) Josh Allen (Wyoming): Josh is a very intelligent young man with a ton of potential to become a star. He just like Rosen can’t be rushed into the league as a starter. He has incredible intelligence and a great self-belief and poise. This is a good pick for the Bills if they are going for QB like it is believed though I think they should address offensive line first. Bills give up 12th overall, 22nd overall, and 56th overall. I think Josh Allen will be like Alex Smith. Other pick that makes sense here: Quenton Nelson (OG)
5. Denver Broncos: (DE) Bradley Chubb (NC State): This is the best talent in the draft. He’s pretty much a guarantee success. I wouldn’t hesitate if he is here at 5, this kid has the talent level of a Khalil Mack or a JJ Watt. Bradley is a truly talented star in the making and in my eyes is the best player in this draft and I know he is in the eyes of many others. I think Bradley Chubb compares to Khalil Mack and JJ Watt. Other pick that makes sense Josh Jackson (CB).
6. Indianapolis Colts From New York Jets: (ILB) Roquan Smith (Georgia): The Colts are transitioning their defense and with this transition they need an improved defense. Chubb in my eyes would be their best pick but with him gone at 5 I believe they go with the 2nd best option to add to their front 7 with this pick. Other pick that makes sense Quenton Nelson (OG).
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: (SS) Derwin James (Florida State): The Buccaneers defense was a nightmare last year and they need to build up their secondary and this pick would surely go a long way into doing that. Derwin is a top 3 overall talent in this draft and would be a great pick for the Buccaneers here. Other pick that makes sense: Minkah Fitzpatrick (Alabama)
8. Chicago Bears: (OG) Quenton Nelson (Notre Dame): The Bears desperately need to protect Mitchell Trubisky and to do that they need to get one of the best offensive lineman to come into the draft since Zach Martin. This kid will be very special and would be a wall in front of their young QB and run game.
9. San Francisco 49ers: (FS) Minkah Fitzpatrick (Alabama): The 49ers are getting close to a super bowl quality team again and to get there entirely they need to complete their defense. Minkah won’t complete everything they need but he will strongly secure their secondary and help them defensively by leaps and bounds. Other pick that makes sense: Courtland Sutton (WR)
10. Oakland Raiders: (ILB) Tremaine Edmunds (Va Tech): The Raiders desperately need defense and they need a middle linebacker more than they need anything else. Edwards is the 2nd best at his position and with Roquan Smith gone is without a doubt the route the Raiders need to go here. There are no other picks that make sense in this spot. I think Edmunds at 10 is early so I wouldn’t be shocked if they traded down.
11. Miami Dolphins: (DT) Maurice Hurst (Michigan): The Dolphins lost Suh in free agency and will need to immediately replace the hole in their defensive line that he vacated. Hurst is a monster and could make a significant difference for this defense and help shut down the run game of opposing offenses. This pick isn’t the popular pick, but it is the one that makes the most sense to me. Other pick that makes sense here: Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (DE)
12. Cleveland Browns (Mock Trade with Bills from 4): (OT) Mike McGlinchey (Notre Dame): The Browns moved back to here to gain even more picks and will look to replace Joe Thomas here with this pick. Mike is a good player and will develop into a nice reliable offensive piece for their line, but he won’t be Joe Thomas. That doesn’t matter he still has incredible talent. Other pick that makes sense: Jaire Alexander (CB) or move back in a trade again.
13. Washington Redskins: (DT) Vita Vea (Washington): The Skins need to build up their defensive line and Vea is a great pick to start that process with as I believe he will be an immediate impact player in the NFL. He is a skilled DT who can really help shut down a run game and regardless of his giant size he is surprisingly quick and will help the pass rush as well. Other pick that makes sense: Josh Jackson (CB)
14. Green Bay Packers: (CB) Josh Jackson (Iowa): Josh is my favorite corner in this draft and if him and Jaire Alexander are gone before this pick I think the Packers trade back. They have a few defensive needs, but corner has to be their number one need. This team needs to give Aaron Rodgers a chance, but they can’t do that when other teams can throw the ball all day long on them and Josh would become their top corner immediately with this pick. Other pick that makes sense: Denezel Ward (CB)
15. Arizona Cardinals: (QB) Lamar Jackson (Louisville): This is the believed guaranteed pick here if he falls here which I expect him to. Lamar isn’t an NFL ready QB and I don’t believe he will ever become a star in this league. Personally, I don’t think he is worth a 1st round pick and will not be a top 10 QB in his prime. This is the pick people believe that will happen though that is why I have him mocked here. Maybe he can surprise me, but he definitely needs a year to sit and learn. Other pick that makes sense here: Calvin Ridley (WR)
16. Baltimore Ravens: (WR) Courtland Sutton (Southern Methodist): The Ravens added Michael Crabtree, Willie Snead, and John Brown in the offseason but that was more like adding a band-aid to a bleeding artery. Crabtree is aging and has issues with drops, Snead had a great year 2 years ago but was basically a non-factor last year and John Brown is injury prone and has drop issues. I don’t think either of these men are fixes at all, but depth added to the worst receiving corps in the league. Sutton is the best WR in this class and might be a top 5 talent overall. If he falls to 16 the Ravens would be making a mistake not taking him. This kid would go early but the need for WR isn’t ridiculously strong before Baltimore. Other pick that makes sense here: Mason Rudolph (QB)
17. New England Patriots (Mock trade with LA Chargers): (QB) Josh Rosen (UCLA): Patriots trade up here and get the QB they want to groom behind Brady. Rosen is a talented kid and with a year to learn from Brady he would become a possible superstar. I think his ego is an issue to a lot of teams, but he seems to me to be like Aaron Rodgers in relation to his attitude and he just wants to win at all costs. Patriots give up 23rd overall and 43rd overall for this pick. Another player they could trade up for is Mason Rudolph (QB)
18. Seattle Seahawks: (OG) Isaiah Wynn (Georgia): The Seahawks must get an offensive line. They need to protect Russell Wilson, he is their superstar QB, not only would this pick protect Russell it would also add the ability to run the ball again. Seattle might be in a rebuild but their pick here doesn’t help them much with flashy pieces, Seattle needs this pick though and can’t worry about flashy picks. Other pick that makes sense here: Jaire Alexander (CB)
19. Dallas Cowboys: (WR) Calvin Ridley (Alabama): The Cowboys have moved on from Dez Bryant, but they do so with no good WR’s left as top options on their roster. Calvin is to me the 3rd most talented WR in this draft class but has been seen as a top 2 and if he is still available the Cowboys will pounce on him here and give Prescott someone to be happy with. Other pick that makes sense here: DJ Moore (WR)
20. Detroit Lions: (DE) Harold Landry (Boston College): The Lions really need another edge pass rusher and this pick would give them exactly that. I really like Landry and the ability he would bring to the Lions for a good pass rush opposite of Ansah. This could be a great pick for them. Other pick that makes sense here: Derrius Guice (RB)
21. Cincinnati Bengals: (C) Frank Ragnow (Arkansas): The Bengals historically don’t draft phenomenally well when it comes to offensive line, but the team doesn’t have a starting center on roster. They honestly can’t screw up this pick if they take Ragnow because he is an immediate starter in the NFL and would fix the Bengals biggest hole immediately. Other pick that makes sense here: James Daniels (C)
22. Cleveland Browns (Mock Trade from Bills for pick #4): (CB) Denzel Ward (Ohio State): The Browns gained some picks by moving back 8 spots and this pick is a great chance to add to their defense. If the Browns can sure up their secondary with all the other pieces they have added, they actually could become a competitive respected team in the NFL. I really believe that trading back 8 spots would be the best move for Cleveland. I really like Ward and believe he can be a great CB2 on any roster to start with and become a CB1 after a few years of learning the league play. Other pick that makes sense here: Isaiah Oliver (CB)
23. LA Chargers (Mock Trade from Patriots for pick #17): (QB) Mason Rudolph (Oklahoma State): The Chargers gain an extra pick to move back here and get the guy they could have taken at 17 still. They need to get a possible replacement groomed behind Rivers. Rudolph is a year or two from becoming a real NFL quality starter and would really be able to learn a lot from one of the best QB’s in the league. I like his potential I just believe he needs a team to be patient with him and let him learn the league and how to become a good NFL QB. Other pick that makes sense here: Taven Bryan (DT)
24. Carolina Panthers: (WR) DJ Moore (Maryland): The Panthers desperately need a WR for Cam to throw to and DJ is in my eyes one of the 2 best in this draft maybe even the best. I have been scouting DJ for 2 seasons at Maryland and believe he is still being underrated and undervalued by the league. He has kick returning abilities and his ability to catch and run is incredible. I know the knock on him in the past was his hands, but he has done a lot to fix those issues in the past year and become a very reliable WR. DJ will be a steal here and in 3 years-time will become a top 10 WR in the league. Other pick that makes sense here: James Washington (WR)
25. Tennessee Titans: (DE) Marcus Davenport (UTSA): The Titans need not just one but two pass rushers, but this pick would go a long way to securing that pass rush. Davenport is a really good player and a good young man who can start off as a good player in the NFL and develop into a star pass rusher that can seal an edge to help with the run as well. I really think if he falls this far the Titans will be salivating over him. Other pick that makes sense here: Rasheen Evans (ILB)
26. Atlanta Falcons: (DT) Da’Ron Payne (Alabama): The Falcons are missing a good run stopping force in the middle of their line. They need to really do something to change that as they face Kamara and Ingram twice a year. If they want to get Matt Ryan back to the super bowl the best way for them to do that is sure up their defense and they should start with this big beast to help secure their run defense. Other pick that makes sense here: Mike Hughes (CB)
27. Cleveland Browns (Mock Trade with the Saints): (OT) Kolton Miller (UCLA): The Browns make another move to get into the 1st and grab a 2nd tackle to add more strength and give them the ability to fix both ends of their offensive line. I love this move if it happens for the Browns because it will lead to a complete offensive line with Miller and McGlinchey holding the anchors on both sides. Other pick that makes sense is the Saints keeping this pick and taking Dallas Goedert (TE). The Saints get 33rd overall and the 56th overall which they got from the Bills earlier.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers: (ILB) Rasheen Evans (Alabama): The Steelers with the tragedy to Ryan Shazier will need to find a linebacker ASAP and Evans is a great one. I believe this is the best fit for the Steelers this far down and for the people claiming Guice is going to the Steelers, I guess they forgot about James Connor. I truly believe this is the route the Steelers take and address a big hole that they never expected to be without. Other pick the Steelers could take here: Orlando Brown (OT)
29. Jacksonville Jaguars: (WR) James Washington (Oklahoma State): Allen Robinson and Hurns are both gone, and they will need to find a replacement for those two immediately or they will see Bortles regress. James is a great WR with incredible hands and is a great down field option that could help make Blake feel like he didn’t lose as much as he did in the offseason. Other pick that makes sense here: Michael Gallup (WR)
30. Minnesota Vikings: (OG) Will Hernandez (UTEP): The Vikings need to build up their offensive line to protect their new shiny investment Kirk Cousins. They are weak at offensive guard and tackle and Will Hernandez is a good fill for that role and would go a long way to protecting Dalvin Cook and Kirk Cousins. I really like this pick for them. Other pick that makes sense here: Braden Smith (OG)
31. New England Patriots: (CB) Jaire Alexander (Louisville): The Patriots need to address their need for corner back with this pick after losing Malcom Butler to the Titans in free agency. This pick would be a nice piece to play opposite of Stephon Gillmore and give them a true CB1 and CB2. If they pull off this pick this would significantly increase their defensive rank and ability to stop opposition pass games. Other pick that makes sense: Dorian O’Daniel (OLB)
32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Mock Trade with the Eagles): (RB) Derrius Guice (LSU): The Buccaneers give up pick #38 and 102 to move up and grab Guice before the Colts can. The Eagles don’t need anything too badly and moving back could help them build depth in spots that they are short of depth. Guice honestly might be the best running back in this class when it is all said and done, and the Buccaneers need a RB badly and could get a steal here grabbing him to end day one. I don’t think they trade up for anyone else.
- Matt Koontz
The 2018 NFL Draft is less than a week away, and it's time for my first round mock. In this mock, I avoided projecting trades, although many may happen; the Bills and Patriots both have two first round picks and could try to move up for the Browns 2nd 1st rounder, or for another pick. I think Quenton Nelson is one of the best players in the entire draft, but I have him falling because guards are historically devalued in the draft. Although the Bengals do not usually draft centers before day 3, they might just go for one this Thursday. After an offseason filled with rumors on the chattime, the snapface, and the twitter, it's off to Arlington! How do I expect the 1st round to play out? Here's my mock. Enjoy! --Mike B.
1. Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming. Cleveland Browns. I wouldn't be surprised to see Sam Darnold here, and to me he's a slightly better pick, but as suggested by people close to Browns GM John Dorsey, the team is looking hard at Allen and allegedly feigning interest in Darnold to convince the Giants to trade up one spot for the pick. To me, Allen's most likely the pick here, and gives the Browns another shot at a franchise quarterback. With Tyrod Taylor on roster, Cleveland can afford to sit Allen for a year or two while Allen learns the NFL game, so this might be a good fit for Allen.
2. Sam Darnold, QB, USC. New York Giants. I keep seeing Saquon Barkley mocked to the Giants, but to me, Darnold is likely their guy. At the same time, I expect them to try hard to trade back with a team such as Buffalo who is targeting a quarterback. Then again, I don't mock trades before they happen, so Darnold's the pick here. Eli Manning gives Darnold a veteran mentor while he learns the ropes. This spot is going to be interesting.
3. Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma. New York Jets. Most rumors suggest that Darnold and Mayfield are the top two guys on the Jets' board. The team needs a franchise quarterback, and Mayfield is an interesting choice. He's a talented player with a lot of questions about his character, so this could get fun to watch.
4. Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State. Cleveland Browns. The pick here is going to be either Barkley or Chubb to me. I think Chubb, since the Browns just went out and got Carlos Hyde. Bradley Chubb paired with Myles Garrett is terrifying. The Browns only had 7 interceptions last season so they need to get more pressure on opposing quarterbacks. Chubb helps make this happen.
5. Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA. Denver Broncos. Another possible trade spot for Buffalo. There are a lot of teams who need a long-term quarterback in the draft, and next year's class is weak at the position. This makes me believe that the Broncos will take a long hard look at quarterbacks if they're available. Barkley's also an option here since he's still on the board. Lamar Jackson could also be an option here.
6. Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State. Indianapolis Colts. The Colts need to help Andrew Luck, and they have needs on their offensive line and at running back. To me this pick boils down to either Barkley or Quenton Nelson with this pick. Given the NFL's history of not selecting guards highly, Barkley just might be the pick here.
7. Derwin James, S, Florida State. Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Buccaneers have paid close attention to Derwin James and are rumored to prefer him to Minkah Fitzpatrick. Bucs GM Jason Licht paid extremely close attention to James at his pro day, so he could be in play for this pick.
8. Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State. Chicago Bears. Not sure which way to go with the Bears with this pick, so going with an obvious team need at cornerback. Ward is a guy that could be a target for the Chicago front office in this draft.
9. Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU. San Francisco 49ers. The 49ers have an extremely strong interest in Sutton, and they could be targeting him heading into the draft. He would be an immediate upgrade to the 49ers WR corps.
10. Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA. Oakland Raiders. Another rumor-based pick, but the Raiders have a strong affinity towards Davenport and he's high on their draft board. Pairing him with Khalil Mack would be deadly. Davenport's my pick here.
11. Roquan Smith, OLB, Georgia. Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins have glaring needs on both sides of the football, and Smith is a very real option with this pick. The team has shown interest in Smith and he has been medically cleared, so he could be Miami's pick.
12. Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville. Buffalo Bills. The Bills may be the best fit for Jackson. Their last quarterback was an athletic, mobile player in Tyrod Taylor, and they have AJ McCarron as a fallback option if Jackson doesn't pan out. Since Buffalo did not trade up in this mock, Jackson's my pick here.
13. Vita Vea, DT, Washington. Washington Redskins. The Redskins need help along the defensive front, and Vea is one of the best defensive tackles in this year's draft. He could definitely be a pick with this spot.
14. Mike Hughes, CB, Central Florida. Green Bay Packers. The Packers have a lot of needs, especially on defense. Their secondary is porous, and aging. Hughes or Minkah Fitzpatrick could easily be the pick here.
15. Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Alabama. Arizona Cardinals. With Matthieu gone and the top quarterback talent off the board, Fitzpatrick makes a lot of sense here. The team gets a top ten talent in the defensive backfield as a consolation for missing out on a quarterback in this spot.
16. Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame. Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens are in dire need of offensive line help, and with the 16th overall pick, the team snags Quentin Nelson, who is arguably the best player in the draft. Good move for Baltimore.
17. Da'Ron Payne, DT, Alabama. Los Angeles Chargers. The Chargers add another piece to a steadily improving defensive unit. Payne would immediately upgrade the Chargers defensive line.
18. Derrius Guice, RB, LSU. Seattle Seahawks. The Seahawks have a lot of needs, but running back is definitely one of them. Guice is a guy who is definitely on the team's radar, and he could be the pick at 18. The team could also go offensive tackle here.
19. Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama. Dallas Cowboys. Dallas needs a receiver after cutting Dez Bryant. Ridley gives them a guy who will immediately step in and compete for a starting role.
20. Harold Landry, EDGE, Boston College. Detroit Lions. The Lions need some help on defense, and Landry fills a definite need. He needs some work as a prospect, but he's definitely a potential fit.
21. Frank Ragnow, C, Arkansas. Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals are in dire need of offensive line help, and they have no starting center. By drafting Frank Ragnow, the team finds a starting center. This is a team that historically underdrafts at the position, but Ragnow fills one of the team's biggest holes and could be a fit here.
22. Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA. Buffalo Bills. The Bills have their quarterback, and now they need a guard and an offensive tackle to help protect him. Miller gives them one of the two as they head into day 2 of the draft.
23. Connor Williams, OT, Texas. New England Patriots. Every year at least one extremely talented player slides down the board. This year, it happens to be a player who fits an immediate need for New England. Williams is the pick in this scenario.
24. DJ Moore, WR, Maryland. Carolina Panthers. Carolina could use one more top tier wide receiver. Moore gives them after the team lost Kelvin Benjamin last season.
25. Tremaine Edmunds, OLB, Virginia Tech. Tennessee Titans. This is a value pick for the Titans; while they need more help at the ILB position, Edmunds has the potential to be an instant game changer for the franchise, and if Edmunds is sitting here, they will pounce.
26. Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State University. Atlanta Falcons. The Atlanta Falcons need a long-term answer at the tight end position, and Goedert has the talent to provide that answer. He should be in heavy consideration for the Falcons, the Saints, and the Steelers.
27. Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State. New Orleans Saints. The Saints are a team who could take a quarterback this year; they looked hard at Patrick Mahomes but missed him when the Chiefs traded up. Rudolph gives them a player who can learn behind Drew Brees for a season or two before stepping into the starting role.
28. Rashaan Evans, ILB, Alabama. Pittsburgh Steelers. The Steelers need help at linebacker, especially on the inside. Evans is a productive player who can come in and compete to start immediately. This move fits for the Steelers.
29. Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame. Jacksonville Jaguars. The Jaguars could go in a lot of different directions here, but after extending Bortles, they have a need for a top tier offensive tackle to protect him and to open holes for Fournette. McGlinchey could be the pick.
30. Taven Bryan, DT, Florida. Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings could use help at offensive line, receiver, and in the secondary, but Mike Zimmer likely won't let a guy with Bryan's talent on the defensive side of the ball slip by him. Bryan could be a fit for the Vikings.
31. Joshua Jackson, CB, Iowa. New England Patriots. The Patriots need help at cornerback, and if Jackson is on the board with their second pick in the 1st round at 31, Belichick might bite. Expect them to pick up a backup QB and potential QB of the future on day 2.
32. Leighton Vander Esch, ILB, Boise State. Philadelphia Eagles. Vander Esch's stock has been steadily on the rise this offseason, and the Titans do not believe that he will fall to their pick allegedly. However, given the huge number of smokescreens present at this time of the year, it is highly possible that Vander Esch falls to the 32nd pick, giving Philly insurance between often-injured Jordan Hicks.
The history of the wide receiver position in the NFL is filled with players who are overlooked early in the draft process only to go on to become elite NFL stars. Many of these players are missed by teams because of where they played football in college. Donald Driver was a 7th round pick after playing for Alcorn State. Miles Austin went undrafted out of Monmouth. Wayne Chrebet went undrafted after a successful career at UMass. Great wide receiver talent is present at all levels of college football, and one of the top wide receivers in the 2018 NFL Draft hails from Slippery Rock.
If Marcus Johnson played for a team such as Alabama, he would likely be a household name by now. At 6'2, 190 pounds, Johnson is a physical, aggressive receiver with great hands. He's not afraid to step in as a blocker, and showcases a ton of talent as a route-runner. More impressive still is Marcus Johnson's production throughout his collegiate career as a football player (link here). In 2017, Marcus Johnson caught 72 passes for 1,214 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns, with an average of 16.9 yards per reception and 110.4 receiving yards per game. He also averaged 27.9 yards per kick return and 15.6 yards per punt return, with three total touchdowns on returns. Against Kentucky State he caught 12 passes for 231 yards and 3 TDs. Against Gannon, he caught 10 passes for 183 yards and 4 TDs, and also returned a kickoff for a touchdown. Against Edinboro, he caught 14 passes for 192 yards and 2 TDs. At season's end, Marcus Johnson recorded 1,993 all purpose yards in 2017. In 2016, Johnson's second season with the school, he recorded 898 receiving yards and 13 touchdowns. These are dominant numbers and show that he has the talent to succeed in any offensive system.
However, some people will question Johnson's numbers as a byproduct of playing for a DII program. These concerns do not hold up under closer scrutiny. First, Marcus Johnson had an extremely strong showing as one of only two DII players invited to the College Gridiron Showcase. Against DI talent, Marcus Johnson showed that he has the tools to compete at any level of football. Second, he leaves Slippery Rock with 28 receiving touchdowns, 2,238 receiving yards, 133 receptions, 31 total touchdowns, 188 points scored, and 3,017 all purpose yards. This was after transferring from a DIII program and learning a new playbook. Johnson has the talent to adapt to any level of football and emerge as a weapon both as a receiver and as a special teams stud. Marcus Johnson's production in college will transfer nicely to the NFL; on film (here and here), he shows all the necessary tools to emerge as a major part of an NFL passing game.
What are some things that Marcus Johnson does exceptionally well? First off, he's coachable and has a good reputation with his coaches and teammates (link here). Second, he has one of the best sets of hands in this year's draft. Johnson is aggressive enough to come down with 50/50 jump balls most of the time, and is able to adjust to catch off-target passes when needed. He has some of the best ball skills of any receiver in college football. He fights for extra yardage on every play and often runs like a running back after the catch. He blocks well, runs crisp routes, and is a big-play machine. Does not shy away from contact or get rattled by physically aggressive defenders. As a receiver, these traits will translate well to the NFL, and Johnson could emerge as a Hines Ward-type player who is not afraid to initiate contact and to make contested catches in the middle of the field.
Ultimately, Johnson's value as a prospect is as follows. Marcus Johnson is a great route runner who is able to quickly change speeds to keep defenders off balance. He's extremely productive on fades, slants, and out routes, and catches 50/50 balls at a high point without bobbling it. This is important in the NFL, where establishing possession is a key part of making a catch. Has the speed to be a deep threat, but also can make plays in the middle of the field. Johnson has the talent to also be a productive returner on both punt return and kick return units. His versatility and ability to run crisp routes will endear him to NFL coaching staffs, and his willingness to block will keep him in games on designed runs. Has the talent to stick with an NFL team as a rotational receiver and special teams ace as a floor, but his ceiling is that of an every down starter in an NFL offense. Given a season to adjust to the rigors of an NFL season, I fully expect Marcus Johnson to emerge as a starter. If he played for a better-known program, he would likely be in the discussion as a day one prospect. Has a higher ceiling than most big-name receiver prospects since his tools are a match for NFL offensive schemes; not simply a product of the college spread offense. Marcus Johnson is a great all-around athlete who has the potential to make a major impact on an NFL team, both on offense and on special teams.
In a new generation of football largely defined by analytics and finding value in the draft, Marcus Johnson may be one of the biggest values in the entire 2018 NFL Draft. If a team is able to find a receiver who can make an instant impact, they have nailed the pick. If that player is a small school player who will likely be drafted later than his talent dictates, then that pick is extremely valuable. If an NFL franchise is looking for a great value in 2018, draft Marcus Johnson. He might just be one of the safest receiver prospects in the entire draft, and he has the talent to play now. Corey Coleman was a first round pick in 2016. Marcus Johnson has a much better work ethic than Coleman and gives 100% on every play, with a similar level of production. Cordarrelle Patterson was a first round pick in 2013. So was Tavon Austin. Unlike Patterson and Austin, Marcus Johnson has the talent to be an every down contributor at the position instead of simply a return specialist and offensive role player. If you want a player that will help you win the draft in 2018, please, draft Marcus Johnson. --Mike B.
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