The Most Radical NFL Mock Draft
The 2018 NFL draft is quickly approaching. The draft will be held from April 26 to 28 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. This is the first time the NFL is holding the draft in an actual stadium. Sometimes bigger is not better. This draft will have a different feel. Gone will be the intimate surroundings of a venue such as Radio City Music Hall. All that matters is how it plays on television. We will find out soon enough. Now, onto our predictions for the first round of the NFL draft.
Picking 1st Cleveland Browns
Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
In a shocker to Mel Kiper, the Browns take the all-world running back instead of quarterback Sam Darnold. Everyone knows the Browns have Barkley as the top-rated prospect in the draft and wary of the NY Giants selecting Barkley at #2, the Browns are comfortable knowing that with the #4 pick in the first round they will still land one of the top three quarterbacks in the draft.
2. New York Giants
Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
Rosen was always the pick. He is the safest pick in the draft for quarterbacks. If he stays healthy, he could be the next Eli Manning. Notice we did not say Peyton Manning. If he duplicates his college health, then the next David Carr.
3. New York Jets via trade with Indianapolis Colts
Sam Darnold, QB, USC
Shocked that Darnold has fallen to them, the Jets turn in the quickest pick in the draft. Not concerned about the last USC QB the Jets traded up to take in the first round, Mark Sanchez, Jets fans ring out with loud chants of “J-E-T-S! Jets! Jets! Jets!” after the pick is announced.
4. Denver Broncos via mock trade with the Cleveland Browns
Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
Well, they are the Browns and act as such. In a stunning trade announcement, they swap positions with the Broncos, who are afraid another team would jump in front of them, and John Elway drafts the big armed quarterback he loves, and the Browns receive Denver’s 2019 first round pick.
5. Cleveland Browns
Bradley Chubb, DE, North Carolina State
With four stud quarterbacks in the draft and with two of the top four picks, the Browns come away with … none. Oh, to be a Browns fan. Take solace in that Chubb may be the next LT as he converts to outside linebacker in the NFL.
6. Buffalo Bills via mock trade Indianapolis Colts via trade with New York Jets
Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
Unsatisfied with the options at six and not in need of a QB, the Colts trade the pick to the Bills who secure their quarterback of the future. Mayfield has the makeup to play in the inclement weather conditions of Buffalo.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Derwin James, S, Florida State
The Bucs stick to an old draft strategy and take the best player available on their draft board.
8. Chicago Bears
Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
Don’t quote us, but this may the latest the first offensive lineman has been drafted in years…and a Guard at that!. The Bears fill a huge need and plug in a player who is projected to be an all-pro for many years.
9. San Francisco 49ers
Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
Back to back Golden Domers. With all the money invested in Jimmy Garoppolo someone needs to protect him. This may be a little high for McGlinchey, but he is far and away the best tackle in the draft. Protect your QB San Fran.
10. Oakland Raiders
Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
The top-rated linebacker in the draft nearly falls out of the top 10 but Chucky, Jon Gruden, snags him to team up with Khalil Mack to form a fearsome linebacker duo.
11. Miami Dolphins
Vita Vea, DT, Washington
After letting Suh go and missing out on the top four QB prospects in this year’s draft, the Dolphins need to shore up their interior defensive line and take the stud DT out of Washington.
12. Indianapolis Colts via mock trade with Buffalo Bills via trade Cincinnati Bengals
Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
The Colts needs weapons on the offensive side of the ball. Luck to Ridley rekindles memories of Manning to Harrison for Colts fans.
13. Washington Redskins
Minkah Fitzpatrick, CB, Alabama
A consensus top 10 pick falls to the Redskins at 13 and he is too good to pass up.
14. Green Bay Packers
Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
The Packers jump on the drafts’ top-rated CB to beef up their secondary.
15. Arizona Cardinals
Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State
The Cardinals needs a long-term solution at QB. The free agent signing of injury prone Sam Bradford was a stop gap move. With Lamar Jackson also still on the board, the Cardinals turn to Rudolph who can sit behind the veteran Bradford for a year and learn. At least, that is the hope, unless Bradford succumbs to a hang nail in pre-season.
16. Baltimore Ravens
Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA
With Ridley and Fitzpatrick off the board, Green Bay turns to fortifying its defensive line and takes Davenport out of the University of Texas – San Antonio.
17. Los Angeles Chargers
Da’Ron Payne, DL, Alabama
The Chargers snare Payne to anchor the middle of their D line. He is a run-stopper who will occupy two offensive linemen, freeing up linebackers for TFL (tackle-for-loss) opportunities and edge rushers Ingram and Bosa for sacks.
18. Seattle Seahawks
Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
They love players with speed in Seattle, and with the linebacker out of Georgia still on the board, they grab a guy with elite speed and quickness. He is also highly touted for his coverage skills, something they may need more of out of their linebackers in 2018.
19. Dallas Cowboys
Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama
Many mock drafts have Evans going to the Cowboys with this pick. Who are we to argue? He is from that NFL player factory known as Alabama, so he is ready to start.
20. Detroit Lions
Mike Hughes, CB, Central Florida
The NFL is a pass happy league with four and five wide. The Lions add one of the top-rated cornerbacks in this year draft to help neutralize the passing attack of division rivals the Packers and Vikings.
21. Cincinnati Bengals via trade Buffalo Bills
Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA
Andy Dalton needs time to throw in the pocket and more importantly he needs to stay upright more often. Miller of UCLA should provide improved protection to a QB who is not getting any younger.
22. Indianapolis Colts via mock trade with Buffalo Bills via trade Kansas City Chiefs
Harold Landry, LB, Boston College
The Colts took the #3 overall pick in this year’s draft and turned it into four 2018 draft picks, two first round and two second round selections. Well done Colts, well done. Oh, and the kid out of Boston College is a great addition to your defense.
23. Los Angeles Rams
Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
With Sammy Watkins gone, the Rams go out and get a big receiver to catch the rock. Some mock drafts have him going in the top 10. If he is still on the board here, the Rams will snatch him (pardon the pun).
24. Carolina Panthers
Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
Although the preference is too find more offensive weapons for Cam Newton, the CB out of Iowa had a stellar season with his 8 INTs leading the FBS.
25. Tennessee Titans
Will Hernandez, G, UTEP
The Titans can just plug him into the right guard spot, alongside RT Jack Conklin, and watch them open gaping holes for running back Derrick Henry.
26. Atlanta Falcons
Taven Bryan, DT, Florida
It is nearly unanimous that the Falcons need to address their interior defensive line. Bryan out of Florida is the best interior lineman available this late in the draft. If Vea or Payne slip in the draft, we would not be surprised to see the Falcons trade up to grab one of them.
27. New Orleans Saints
Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
Head coach Sean Payton secures his quarterback of the future in the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner. Jackson will sit two to three years in New Orleans and learn the ropes behind Brees. It is a perfect landing spot for Jackson.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers
Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
With the uncertainty surrounding their stud running back Le’Veon Bell, the Steelers draft an insurance policy who may be able to duplicate Bell’s skill set. Production? That is another question.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars
Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina
You don’t see too many 25-year-old rookies in the NFL. Hurst is a former minor league baseball player who turned to football when he realized he did not have a future in baseball. He’s an immediate starter with excellent hands and solid runner after the catch.
30. Minnesota Vikings
Isaiah Wynn, G, Georgia
What do you do after guaranteeing $90M to your new quarterback? You protect him, and Wynn out of Georgia is an above average pass blocker for a guard.
31. New England Patriots
Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville
The Patriots restock their secondary, and Alexander fits what they seek in a corner.
32. Philadelphia Eagles
Leighton Vander Esch, ILB, Boise St.
Super Bowl champions stay on top by taking the best available player instead of drafting for need. With the final pick in the first round, the Eagles select the massive Esch who is still filling out his frame.
How did we do? How many players went to the correct team?