With the upcoming NFL Draft beginning Thursday night, April 26th, I figured it was appropriate that I peer into my crystal ball and reveal how the first three rounds will unfold. Without further ado, here is my 2018 mock draft!
- Cleveland Browns- Sam Darnold, QB, USC
Cleveland takes another swing at quarterback, drafting a player who has shown poise and potential.
- Projected Trade:
Bills get Giants pick #2. Giants get Bills picks #12, #22, and a 2019 1st-Rd. pick
Buffalo Bills- Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
Buffalo couldn’t rely on the perfect cold-weather quarterback falling to them, so they move up to select their man, Josh Allen.
- New York Jets (From Colts)- Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
This pick is between Rosen and Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield, but with a team that showed signs of being competitive, the Jets will choose the most NFL-ready prospect at the position.
- Cleveland Browns- Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
With their second pick in the draft, Cleveland elects to draft the best player available, continuing to build an electrifying, scary offensive attack.
- Denver Broncos- Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
After trading Aqib Talib, the Broncos want to find an immediate replacement, so they draft the most versatile defensive-back available.
- Indianapolis Colts (From Jets)- Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State
Indianapolis is ecstatic, as the player they covet will still fall to them at pick-6. They add the cornerstone to their defense for years to come.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Derwin James, DB, Florida State
The Bucs have numerous holes on their NFL-worst defense. Derwin James can play multiple positions and will provide stability at the back-end.
- Chicago Bears- Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame
The player many consider to be the second-best prospect in the draft falls to the Bears, who will simultaneously fortify their running game and protect Mitch Trubisky with this pick.
- San Francisco 49ers- Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
Despite signing Richard Sherman, the 49ers still need secondary help. They select Denzel Ward to play opposite him and in the slot.
- Oakland Raiders- Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
After toying between Edmunds and Roquan Smith, the Raiders go with upside, drafting the 19-year old Virginia Tech prospect to revamp their linebacking core.
- Miami Dolphins- Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
Unsure of Ryan Tannehill’s future, the Dolphins pounce on the opportunity to draft a proven leader, selecting Baker Mayfield as their quarterback of the future.
- New York Giants (From Bills via Bengals)- Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
After losing Justin Pugh in free agency, the Giants begin rebuilding their offensive line by drafting Notre Dame tackle Mike McGlinchey.
- Washington Redskins- Vita Vea, DT, Washington
The Redskins begin their draft by fortifying their porous run defense. They select the daunting stuffer Vita Vea.
- Projected Trade:
Chargers get Packers pick #14. Packers get Chargers picks #17 and #84.
Los Angeles Chargers- Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
The Chargers desperately need linebacker help, and they’re shocked that Roquan Smith fell to pick-14. Thus, they trade up with Green Bay to select him.
- Arizona Cardinals- Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
Sam Bradford is not the long-term plan in Arizona; they pull the trigger on the former Heisman Trophy winner and develop him for a year.
- Baltimore Ravens- Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State
The Ravens know how much money they can save by letting Flacco go next year. Jason has hammered home how keen they are on drafting a quarterback; they go ahead and get one at pick-16.
- Green Bay Packers (From Chargers)- Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
Despite trading back, Green Bay still gets their guy. Josh Jackson will stabilize the defensive backfield that the Packers have worked on heavily in recent years.
- Seattle Seahawks- Marcus Davenport, EDGE, UTSA
I wouldn’t be surprised if the Ravens take him at pick-16, but he is too good of a prospect for Seattle to let go by.
- Dallas Cowboys- Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
After cutting Dez Bryant, the writing is on the wall: the Cowboys are taking a wideout with their first pick. It will come down to either Ridley or Moore, and they choose the receiver from the blue-chip school.
- Detroit Lions- Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
Matt Patricia loves having run-stoppers in the middle of his defense, and Da’Ron Payne is a beast inside who will do just that.
- Cincinnati Bengals (From Bills)- Isaiah Wynn, OG, Georgia
Cincinnati may have the worst offensive line in football, so they take Isaiah Wynn to start its rebuild.
- New York Giants (From Bills via Chiefs)- Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
After toying with the idea of drafting Saquon Barkley with the 2nd pick, the G-Men pick up an extra pick and still fill the need with Derrius Guice.
- New England Patriots (From Rams)- Carlton Davis, CB, Auburn
The Pats desperately need secondary help. Carlton Davis is an underrated cornerback who will fit well opposite of Stephon Gilmore.
- Carolina Panthers- DJ Moore, WR, Maryland
DJ Moore will provide Cam Newton a young, promising talent to build a rapport with. Carolina’s receiving group is shaky, so they fill a need here, too.
- Tennessee Titans- Harold Landry, EDGE, Boston College
Mike Vrabel’s son just committed to BC, so he will have the inside scoop on Harold Landry’s health. If Landry falls this far (which he very well could), this pairing makes perfect sense.
- Atlanta Falcons- Taven Bryan, DT, Florida
The Falcons will continue to bolster their interior pass-rush by selecting the Florida tackle who has risen up draft boards.
- New Orleans Saints- Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State
The Saints have lacked production at tight end since trading Jimmy Graham. This year they will finally address the need and select someone similar in Goedert.
- Pittsburgh Steelers- Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama
Planning for a future without Ryan Shazier, the Steelers draft Rashaan Evans – an overlooked stud – to anchor their linebacking core.
- Jacksonville Jaguars- Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA
With DJ Moore and Calvin Ridley off the board, the Jags fill a secondary need by drafting Kolton Miller to help keep Blake Bortles upright.
- Minnesota Vikings- Mike Hughes, CB, UCF
The Vikings are stacked on both sides of the ball so I could see a trade here, but I think they will take the best player available and have Mike Hughes fill in opposite Xavier Rhodes to bolster a scary secondary.
- New England Patriots- Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State
New England could use a linebacker to play next to Dont’a Hightower, and Leighton Vander Esch has the potential to be an impact starter.
- Philadelphia Eagles- Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville
After cutting CB Daryl Worley, the Eagles have a spot to fill. Luckily, one of the best prospects at the position falls to them in Alexander.
- Cleveland Browns- Will Hernandez, OG, UTEP
- New York Giants- Lorenzo Carter, EDGE, Georgia
- Cleveland Browns (from Texans)- Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State
- Indianapolis Colts- James Daniels, C, Iowa
- Indianapolis Colts (from Jets)- Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Connor Williams, OG, Texas
- Chicago Bears- Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado
- Denver Broncos- Billy Price, C, Ohio State
- Oakland Raiders- Justin Reid, S, Stanford
- Miami Dolphins- Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina
- New England Patriots (from 49ers)- Brian O’Neill, OT, Pittsburgh
- Washington Redskins- Darius Leonard, LB, South Carolina State
- Green Bay Packers- Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama
- Cincinnati Bengals- Rasheem Green, DE, USC
- Arizona Cardinals- Tyrell Crosby, OT, Oregon
- Los Angeles Chargers- Mike White, QB, Western Kentucky
- Indianapolis Colts (from Jets via Seahawks)- Sony Michel, RB, Georgia
- Dallas Cowboys- Jerome Baker, LB, Ohio State
- Detroit Lions- Ronald Jones III, RB, USC
- Projected Trade: 49ers get Ravens pick #52. Ravens get 49ers pick #59 and a 2019 4th-Rd pick. San Francisco 49ers- Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M
- Buffalo Bills- Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
- Kansas City Chiefs- Da’Shawn Hand, DE, Alabama
- Carolina Panthers- Duke Dawson, CB, Florida
- Buffalo Bills (from Rams)- Martinas Rankin, OL, Mississippi State
- Tennessee Titans- Tegray Scales, LB, Indiana
- Atlanta Falcons- Dante Pettis, WR, Washington
- Baltimore Ravens (from 49ers via Saints)- Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State
- Pittsburgh Steelers- Jessie Bates, S, Wake Forest
- Jacksonville Jaguars- DJ Chark, WR, LSU
- Minnesota Vikings- Frank Ragnow, C, Arkansas
- New England Patriots- Kyle Lauletta, QB, Richmond
- Cleveland Browns (from Eagles)- Tony Adams, OG, NC State
- Buffalo Bills (From Browns)- Tim Settle, DT, Virginia Tech
- New York Giants- Luke Falk, QB, Washington State
- Indianapolis Colts- Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas
- Houston Texans- Anthony Averett, CB, Alabama
- New York Giants (From Buccaneers)- James Washington, WR, Clemson
- San Francisco 49ers- Kemoko Turay, EDGE, Rutgers
- Denver Broncos- Josey Jewell, LB, Iowa
- New York Jets- Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego State
- Miami Dolphins- Fred Warner, OLB, BYU
- San Francisco 49ers- Kyzir White, S, West Virginia
- Oakland Raiders- Donte Jackson, CB, LSU
- Green Bay Packers- Deon Cain, WR, Clemson
- Cincinnati Bengals- Oren Burks, LB, Vanderbilt
- Washington Redskins- Kerryon Johnson, RB, Auburn
- Arizona Cardinals- Antonio Callaway, WR, Florida
- Houston Texans (From Seahawks)- Harrison Phillips, DT, Stanford
- Dallas Cowboys- P.J. Hall, NT, Sam Houston State
- Detroit Lions- Ian Thomas, TE, Indiana
- Baltimore Ravens- Michael Gallup, WR, Colorado State
- Green Bay Packers (From Chargers)- Orlando Brown, T, Oklahoma
- Carolina Panthers (From Bills)- Derrick Nnadi, DT, Florida State
- Kansas City Chiefs- Isaac Yiadom, CB, Boston College
- Los Angeles Rams- Jordan Lasley, WR, UCLA
- Carolina Panthers- Armani Watts, S, Texas A&M
- Tennessee Titans- Troy Fumagalli, TE, Wisconsin
- Atlanta Falcons- Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, EDGE, Oklahoma
- New Orleans Saints- Riley Ferguson, QB, Memphis
- Pittsburgh Steelers- Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia
- Jacksonville Jaguars- Micah Kiser, LB, Virginia
- Minnesota Vikings- Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Notre Dame
- New England Patriots- Godwin Igwebuike, S, Northwestern
- Buffalo Bills (From Eagles)- Daeshawn Hamilton, WR, Penn State
- Arizona Cardinals- Jalyn Holmes, DE, Ohio State
- Houston Texans- Marcus Allen, S, Penn State
- Denver Broncos- Anthony Miller, WR, Memphis
- Cincinnati Bengals- Kurt Benkert, QB, Virginia