It’s 2018 NFL Draft week and we here at SportSmasher.com are plugged into the latest rumors for each and every NFL team, which players they have been targeting, and what the scouts are saying. We are ready to unveil our final 2018 NFL Mock Draft, and we cannot wait until Thursday through Saturday, when the newest crop on NFL stars find out which teams they will be joining this coming season. Let’s get to it:
1) Cleveland Browns – Sam Darnold, QB (6’4 225lbs) USC – There has been a lot of rumors that the Cleveland Browns would be taking Josh Allen first overall in the 2018 NFL Draft in recent weeks, but I am not being told that the Josh Allen rumors were more of a smokescreen, and the Browns will indeed draft Sam Darnold first overall on Thursday night. I have always had Darnold slotted here, and while I think that the Browns are intrigued with Josh Allen’s extremely high ceiling and ridiculous arm strength, I think they go with the safer and more polished Darnold as the face of their franchise going forward. Darnold is a solid all around prospect, he has great footwork and is a sneaky good athlete, while he does not have the incredible arm strength of Josh Allen and he does not zip the ball like Josh Rosen he is very good across the board and is the safest prospect in a good quarterback crop.
Alternate Pick: The pick will come down to Sam Darnold or Josh Allen, and while there is no doubt that Darnold is the safer of the two prospects, the extremely high upside of Josh Allen is very intriguing. We know that Browns general manager John Dorsey loves Josh Allen, who can throw the ball over 80 yards as demonstrated in workouts, but Allen also needs a lot of work. Allen’s footwork and accuracy have a long way to go before he takes an NFL snap, and while his ceiling could be the next Ben Roethlisberger or Carson Wentz, he also has a high bust potential like another big armed quarterback who went first overall in Jamarcus Russell. The Browns will start Tyrod Taylor at quarterback week one of the 2018 season, so they could develop a quarterback and bring him along slowly, which is a must if you draft Josh Allen. However, I am hearing that the Browns go the safe route and draft Sam Darnold, the franchise cannot afford to draft another bust, and Darnold is much safer than Allen.
UPDATED RUMOR: Hearing that new general manager John Dorsey will not tell owner Jimmy Haslam who the Browns will select until draft day, but offensive coordinator Todd Haley is pushing for Josh Allen, who reminds him of Ben Roethlisberger.
2) New York Giants – Saquon Barkley, RB (5’11 223lbs) Penn State – I have heard that this pick will come down to two players, Sam Darnold or Saquon Barkley, and in this scenario Darnold is off of the board so the New York Giants select Penn State stud running back Saquon Barkley. Saquon Barkley is a physical specimen who had an incredible season at Penn State, and then followed it up with eye popping workouts during the draft process, I have him as my highest graded running back prospect since Adrian Peterson entered the NFL in 2007. Saquon Barkley can do it all, not only is he an incredibly gifted runner, but he is also an amazing pass catcher out of the backfield. If the Giants truly believe that Eli Manning can play another two or three seasons, the best way to help Manning out it to select a culture changing running back who will open up the offense for him, and they get one here when they select Saquon Barkley.
Alternate Pick: I have been told that the only quarterback that the Giants and general manager Dave Gettleman love is Sam Darnold, and while several teams (Bills, Cardinals) have tried to pry this pick away from the Giants, it is seeming like the Giants are unlikely to trade the pick. Sources close to the Giants organization say that Gettleman wants to be sure to get a “Gold Jacket Player” or a potential Hall Of Fame player with the second overall pick, and that the Giants only see four in this draft class (Sam Darnold, Saquon Barkley, Quenton Nelson, Bradley Chubb) which explains their reluctance to trade down. If they trade down, they will miss on those four players, so in this scenario they stand pat and draft the best football player available Saquon Barkley. However, scouts outside of the organization are telling me to keep an eye on Bradley Chubb, then an offensive lineman early round two where the Giants have done a ton of work scouting offensive linemen.
UPDATED RUMOR: Lots of buzz that the Giants could now be leaning Bradley Chubb. Expect them to draft an offensive lineman at the top of round two. The Giants have spent a lot of time scouting offensive linemen expected to go in that range. The Giants seem to think they can grab a back like Nick Chubb or Rashaad Penny later in a deep and strong running back crop.
3) New York Jets – Baker Mayfield, QB (6’ 215lbs) Oklahoma – I have been told that this pick has come down to two players, Sam Darnold or Baker Mayfield, and with Darnold going first overall the Jets select Baker Mayfield as their quarterback of the future. The numbers do not lie, Mayfield puts up huge statistics, and he is a winner who motivates his teammates to be great. From a physical standpoint, Mayfield is not as gifted as Darnold, Rosen and Allen, but the Jets love his intangibles and the competitive swagger that he will bring to the organization. The Jets front office loves Baker Mayfield, and apparently the only player who they would select over Mayfield is Sam Darnold, but with Darnold gone this pick is an easy one.
Change from previous mock: Josh Rosen
Alternate Pick: I do think the Jets could surprise everyone and take Josh Rosen here, the Jets were present at Rosen’s Pro Day when Rosen wowed scouts with his throwing velocity and accuracy, and the next day the Jets traded up from sixth overall to third overall which I do not think was a coincidence. The Jets will draft a quarterback, when they traded up to third overall, it is clear that there are three quarterbacks who they were comfortable selecting. I hear the order of the Jets quarterback rankings seems to be 1) Darnold 2) Mayfield 3) Rosen. However, I would not be shocked if Rosen and Mayfield were swapped, and all of this Mayfield to the Jets hype was a smokescreen to throw teams off of their true intended target Rosen.
4) Cleveland Browns – Bradley Chubb, DE (6’4 275lbs) NC State – The Cleveland Browns have two of the top four picks in the 2018 NFL Draft, and they want to exit the top four with difference makers on both sides of the ball, which they get here when they select Bradley Chubb the disruptive defensive lineman from NC State. Bradley Chubb does not have the eye-popping workout numbers that some of the pass rushers we have seen selected at the top of drafts in recent years have had, but his numbers are solid, and he brings one important attribute to the table that scouts seem to forget about this time of the year. On field production. Chubb had 73 tackles, 25 of those for a loss, along with 10.0 sacks and three forced fumbles in 2017. What you love about Bradley Chubb is his nose for the football when you watch film, he is always around the ball, and always making things difficult for opposing offenses. With Bradley Chubb and 2017 first overall pick Myles Garrett on the Browns defensive line, they will have the most talented young defensive front in the league going forward, and opposing quarterbacks are going to be under plenty of pressure.
Change from previous mock: Minkah Fitzpatrick
Alternate pick: There is a chance that the Browns select Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson here, to bolster their offensive line, and if Saquon Barkley were to fall into their laps at four it would be very difficult for the Browns to resist drafting him at four. The Browns want to leave the top four with their quarterback of the future, as well as another difference maker, so Chubb or Nelson or Barkley all make a lot of sense.
5) Denver Broncos – Josh Rosen, QB (6’4 210lbs) UCLA – John Elway has announced that this pick is for sale, so this could be spot where the Buffalo Bills or Arizona Cardinals or Miami Dolphins trade up to select their quarterback of the future, but if the Broncos stay put Elway says that he will draft the best football player available regardless of position. I am not buying it, John Elway cannot look at a quarterback depth chart featuring Case Keenum and Paxton Lynch, and think that he has a quarterback capable of leading the franchise to the Super Bowl. Josh Rosen wowed scouts at his Pro Day, he throws the ball with incredible velocity and accuracy with a lightning quick release which has some scouts making comparisons to the great Aaron Rodgers (as crazy as that sounds). Josh Rosen seems to have answered questions about his leadership, which many of his teammates called ridiculous, Elway should be able to mentor Rosen. Elway is a California guy, and as a Stanford alum he has seen plenty of Rosen, I am not buying that Denver will pass on their quarterback of the future or that they are sold on Paxton Lynch. Rosen needs a mentor, and who would be a better mentor to a cocky California kid then former cocky California kid John Elway?
Change from previous mock: Josh Allen
Alternate Pick: The fact that John Elway has announced that this pick is for sale makes some believe he is not in the market for a quarterback, the Broncos signed Case Keenum in free agency, and by trading down or passing on quarterbacks they would have to believe that Paxton Lynch can still be their quarterback of the future. The Broncos could trade down, and a potential Broncos and Bills or Dolphins swap makes a lot of sense, the Broncos spent a lot of time scouting defensive backs and several could be available in the range of their potential trade partners. If the Broncos are picking at five, it seems that they will draft the best non-quarterback available regardless of position, so that’s Chubb or Nelson or Barkley. The rumor is that the Broncos love Chubb but do not expect him to be available.
6) Indianapolis Colts – Roquan Smith, LB (6’1 235lbs) Georgia – Nice work by Indianapolis Colts general manager Chris Ballard, the Colts need talent everywhere after several botched NFL Drafts in a row, and with Andrew Luck set to return to the Colts they were in the position to get value from quarterback needy team. That has already happened, the Colts traded down three spots with the New York Jets, and picked up three additional second round picks (two in 2018, one in 2019) for their troubles. The Colts are known to covet Roquan Smith, and while they would rather trade down a few more spots to get him, in this scenario they take him at six. . If you watched the Georgia Bulldogs run to the National Championship Game in 2017, Roquan Smith was all over the field, I know this is sacrilege but at times he reminded you of Ray Lewis. It seemed like on every single snap, Roquan Smith either made the tackle or was in on the tackle, he is a true sideline to sideline linebacker. Roquan Smith is also the type of team leader and quarterback of the defense that the Colts need to set the tone going forward.
Change from previous mock: Bradley Chubb
Alternate Pick: The Colts have needs everywhere on both sides of the ball, and they need to do a better job of protecting Andrew Luck, so if Quenton Nelson was available he would be hard for the Colts to pass up. There has been some buzz on cornerback Denzel Ward to the Colts, and while I do not expect him to be available, if Bradley Chubb was shockingly on the board here the Colts would pounce. The Colts seem to have zeroed in on Roquan Smith, but they like several defensive players, so they could be a candidate to trade down.
7) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Derwin James, S (6’2 215lbs) Florida State – ESPN NFL Draft expert Todd McShay called James to the Bucs the worst kept secret in the NFL, and while it would be very difficult for the Buccaneers to pass on the likes of Quenton Nelson and Denzel ward in this scenario, they seem to have their minds made up. Derwin James suffered a knee injury in 2016 that cost him all but two games, however he was incredible as a freshman for the Seminoles in 2015, and played extremely well coming back from the injury in 2017. Derwin James is just an excellent football player, Florida State lined him up at both safety spots, corner, linebacker and he even rushed the passer in 2017 and he finished the season with 72 tackles and two interceptions.
Change from previous mock: Quenton Nelson
Alternate Pick: The Buccaneers could also consider cornerback Denzel Ward here, one of their starting cornerbacks is the soon-to-be 35-year-old Brent Grimes, and the other is 2016 first round pick Vernon Hargreaves has drawn mixed reviews over the past two seasons. It would be difficult for the Bucs to pass up Quenton Nelson, one of the best players in the draft, who could really upgrade their running game as well as pass protection for Jameis Winston. The Bucs have a desperate need at running back, so if Saquon Barkley were to shockingly slide the Bucs would pounce, but they will more likely address that need in round two or three.
8) Chicago Bears – Quenton Nelson, OG (6’5 325lbs) Notre Dame – The two players that I keep hearing the Bears have been targeting are Quenton Nelson and Denzel Ward, and in this scenario the Bears get lucky, as one of the best players in the draft falls into their laps at eighth overall. A few years ago a scout told me that Cowboys guard Zack Martin was the best guard prospect he has ever seen, when I asked him who was better between Martin and Nelson, he said Nelson and it’s not even close. Nelson is an absolute mauler in the running game, he plays with a nasty streak, and just blows defenders off of the ball. He is also solid in pass protection, and while most teams normally would not draft an offensive guard inside the top ten, Quenton Nelson is an exception. Nelson will set the tone for the entire offensive line, he will make the unit better in all facets of the game, and he is too good to pass up.
Change from previous mock: Denzel Ward
Alternate Pick: There is a chance depending on how the quarterbacks unfold that Nelson and Ward are both off of the board when the Bears are on the clock, and if that’s the case the Bears could look to Minkah Fitzpatrick, who could line up all over the defensive formation for the Bears. I have also been told that if Nelson and Ward are both gone, its highly likely that the Bears would look to trade down, which could allow another team to trade up to select a falling quarterback (in this scenario Josh Allen).
9) San Francisco 49ers – Minkah Fitzpatrick, S (6’1 203lbs) Alabama – A player who brings versatility, Fitzpatrick is a speedy centerfielder who also has the size to be an effective tackler in the run game and match up with tight ends, he can really do it all. Fitzpatrick will likely play free safety in the NFL, and he has an incredibly high football IQ, to go along with the physical skill teams look for in a safety. If you need him to matchup with receivers or tight ends, he can do that too, he really does not have many limitations on his game.
Change from previous mock: Vita Vea
Alternate Pick: If her were to slide, but I do not think he will, Quenton Nelson would be a perfect fit in San Francisco. The 49ers can improve their guards, but if they miss Nelson, you can expect them to address this position on day two of the draft. It has been reported that some NFL teams prefer Alabama defensive tackle DaRon Payne to Vita Vea, but based on the scheme fit, I doubt the 49ers are one of those teams. The 49ers could also go get a playmaking wide receiver for Jimmy Garoppolo, and while Courtland Sutton could be a nice fit, he looks like a reach at nine. The 49ers have closely scouted Denzel Ward and he could be the pick at nine.
10) Oakland Raiders – Denzel Ward, CB (5’11 185lbs) Ohio State – While the Oakland Raiders have several cornerbacks on their roster, their top two are Gareon Conley and Rashaan Melvin, which means the position needs to be upgraded. Denzel Ward is an extremely talented cover cornerback, he has incredible speed and quickness, as well as excellent ball skills. What sets Ward apart is his ability to mirror receivers, he has great eyes and instincts, and he has lockdown corner potential. I would be mildly surprised if Ward is still available at tenth overall, the Buccaneers, Bears and 49ers have a lot of interest in Ward, and the Broncos are known to like him (if they trade down).
Change from previous mock: Roquan Smith
Alternate Pick: The Raiders defense was soft up the middle last season, and while they signed linebackers Tahir Whitehead and Emmanuel Lamur this offseason to improve this group, they could still use a linebacker. The Raiders are known to love Roquan Smith, who I thought would be the perfect fit, but in this scenario Smith is gone. Tremaine Edwards could make some sense, he is a physical freak at linebacker, but he is more raw than Smith. Another player who could make sense it massive nose tackle Vita Vea who would help to improve the Raiders run defense.
11) Miami Dolphins – Tremaine Edmunds, OLB (6’5 250lbs) Virginia Tech – The Miami Dolphins are really a team without an identity, they jettisoned several high cost veterans this offseason, but swear that they are not in rebuilding mode. I feel that they are in denial, the Dolphins are in rebuilding mode, they just do not know it yet. As they can get out of his contract following this season, the Dolphins need to confirm if Ryan Tannehill can stay healthy, and if he can truly be their franchise quarterback. That means they should at least consider a quarterback here, and in this scenario Josh Allen is still on the board, but again I think the Dolphins really believe they can compete in 2018. The Dolphins only have two running backs on their roster right now, they also only have only five linebackers, and in this scenario they bolster their linebacker corps. Tremaine Edmunds is an athletic freak, who also happens to be an extremely productive linebacker, that totaled 109 tackles with 5.5 sacks in 2017. The Dolphins love their middle linebacker of the future, 2017 second round pick Raekwon McMillian who missed the entire 2017 season with a knee injury, pairing an inside linebacker like McMillan with an outside linebacker in Edmunds would give the Dolphins one of the best young linebacker corps in the league.
Alternate Pick: The Dolphins just need so much help, their offensive line is just okay, but has holes in the interior. They have a lot of wide receivers, but no true number one, and they need to hope that DeVante Parker can step up and be that guy. They have no proven tight end, their secondary is okay, but they could use a true number one cornerback. There are many directions that the Dolphins can go in, because they have more questions than answers on their roster, the number one question being if they will continue moving forward past 2018 counting on Ryan Tannehill as their franchise quarterback. Also, the Dolphins released Ndamukong Suh who was overpaid but still dominant, apparently in order to create cap room. Then they used that cap room to sign Danny Amendola and Albert Wilson to be their third and fourth wide receivers while they already have decent wide receiver depth on the roster. That’s just confusing. Another player I hear the Dolphins love is speedy cornerback and return man Jaire Alexander.
12) Buffalo Bills – Josh Allen, QB (6’5 240lbs) Wyoming – I do not think the Buffalo Bills will be picking at twelve, I think they will trade up, as there are several teams (Browns at 4, Broncos, Colts, Bucs, Bears) who seem willing to trade down. The Bills want their quarterback of the future, and in this scenario, that player falls into their lap at twelve. From a purely physical standpoint, Josh Allen is the most talented quarterback prospect in this draft class, he is huge at six-foot-five 240-pounds, and he can launch the ball downfield effortlessly. Allen is also a very good athlete for his size, and he reminds scouts of Ben Roethlisberger and/or Carson Wentz, but he is going to need time to develop. Allen was better in 2016 than he was in 2017, although his supporting cast was far worse which explains some of it, and he needs to work on reading defenses and to improve his accuracy and footwork. The Bills can bring Allen along slowly behind A.J. McCarron and will not be forced to play Allen until he is ready.
Change from previous mock: Baker Mayfield
Alternate Pick: Bills brass will be disappointed if they cannot trade up and get themselves into position to draft a top quarterback prospect, but in actuality, this scenario where they land Josh Allen at twelve and keep the twenty second pick in the draft would work out well. I do not think they will, but if the Bills go another route, they need multiple players who can help at linebacker so both Roquan Smith or Tremaine Edmunds are options. The Bills signed center Russell Bodine and tackle Marshall Newhouse to solidify their offensive line, but they could really use young talent at both center, guard and right tackle. When it comes to weapons on offense, the Bills quarterback of the future has big target Kelvin Benjamin and possession receiver Zay Jones, along with tight end Charles Clay but they can use a more dynamic deep threat to open the offense up.
13) Washington Redskins Da’Ron Payne – DT, (6’2 310lbs) Alabama – I know I am going to get a lot of flak for this, but I absolutely hated the Redskins offseason, and it’s not just what I thought was a horrible decision at quarterback. The Skins refuse to give Kirk Cousins the contract that he wants, and arguably deserves, so they let him walk and trade for Alex Smith. Then they sign the soon-to-be 34-year-old Alex Smith to a four year contract extension worth $94 million dollars, which includes a $27 million signing bonus. What is the logic here? If you can lock up the legendary Alex Smith until he is almost 40-years-old, and downgrade at quarterback in the process, you have to do it? Then the Skins attempt to solve their hole at wide receiver by signing vertical threat Paul Richardson in free agency, except their new quarterback Alex Smith’s biggest weakness happens to be that he cannot throw the ball downfield, and I know he was better in 2017 I am talking historically. What are the Skins doing? Can anybody tell me? Alex Smith is fine and he is not going to kill you, the Skins vastly overpaid him, and if this team was ready to win now this would make sense. However, this team is nowhere near being ready to win, so I am left just confused. Anyway, the Skins have a huge hole at nose tackle, and its known that they heavily scouted both Vita Vea and Da’Ron Payne. In this scenario, Vea is still on the board, but they take Payne who gets reunited with his former Crimson Tide teammates defensive lineman Jonathan Allen and linebacker Ryan Anderson.
Alternate Pick: We know what Alex Smith is going to do in Washington next season, control the clock and extend drives with short passes, but after free agent signing Paul Richardson who is more of a deep threat the Skins have Josh Doctson, Jamison Crowder and tight ends like the often injured Jordan Reed and the 34-year-old Vernon Davis. The Skins should look to acquire some slot type receivers who can help Alex Smith play to his strengths, but they might be able to grab a player like Texas A&M’s Christian Kirk in the second round, and I doubt they select Calvin Ridley or Courtland Sutton here after signing Paul Richardson. The Skins also desperately need a center, they let Spencer Long in free agency, and do not have a center on the roster who has been proven capable of starting in the NFL.
14) Green Bay Packers – Marcus Davenport, DE/OLB (6’5 265lbs) Texas-San Antonio – The Green Bay Packers need to upgrade their pass rush, and they get one of the best pass rushers on the board in this scenario, when they select Marcus Davenport. An athletic freak, Marcus Davenport is a former wide receiver a who had 55 tackles and 8.5 sacks in 2017, he needs to get stronger but should be a terror off the edge on passing downs. Davenport can start his career as a situational pass rusher who provides pressure on passing downs, it will take him a year or two to add the strength needed to become an every down player which is needed for him to reach his ceiling.
Change from previous mock: Derwin James
Alternate Pick: Aaron Rodgers has made it clear that he is unhappy with the Packers moves (or lack thereof) this offseason, and while they did add Jimmy Graham, they need wide receivers who can contribute immediately so Calvin Ridley makes sense. The Packers have long needed help in the secondary, which is why I previously mocked Derwin James to Green Bay, so safety James or Minkah Fitzpatrick would make sense if they are available as would cornerbacks Denzel Ward or Jaire Alexander.
15) Arizona Cardinals – Calvin Ridley, WR (6’ 190lbs) Alabama – I thought that the Arizona Cardinals would attempt to find their quarterback of the future this offseason, instead they elected to sign injury prone Sam Bradford to a one year deal, while also signing Mike Glennon to back him up. Eventually, the Arizona Cardinals are going to need to find the face of their franchise going forward, but for now it seems they will try to plug in Sam Bradford and win, but he is going to need some help. The only wide receiver on the Cardinals roster who is a threat is Larry Fitzgerald, and he turns 35-years-old before the start of the regular season, so the Cardinals must get Bradford some help. They draft Calvin Ridley in this scenario, a tremendous talent, who’s numbers did not reflect his skill level due to the fact that he played in the Crimson Tide’s ground and pound style of offense. Ridley is a polished route runner with great hands, he torched Florida State, and made big plays whenever Alabama needed one.
Alternate Pick: The Cardinals could really use a left tackle of the future, so I had Notre Dame’s Mike McGlinchey slotted here initially, however the Cardinals strengthened their offensive line when they signed Andre Smith and Justin Pugh in free agency. The Cardinals have needed a cornerback to start opposite Patrick Peterson for seemingly forever, every fix they have tried has failed miserably, so maybe 2018 is the year that they finally grab a player like cornerback Joshua Jackson to stop this area of concern. If one of the top quarterbacks in the draft were to fall into their laps, the Cardinals would have to strongly consider it, Bradford is injury prone and on a one year deal. I could see the Cardinals selecting Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson here and developing him for a year behind Bradford before they hand him the reigns in 2019.
UPDATED RUMOR: The Arizona Cardinals are trying to move up to select a quarterback, they were going to pick Patrick Mahomes or DeShaun Watson in 2017, but the Chiefs and Texans leapfrogged them via trade and stole both quarterbacks, and they are still bitter. A scout told me the Cardinals are calling “everyone” and they apparently “love” Baker Mayfield.
16) Baltimore Ravens – Mike McGlinchey, OT (6’7 309lbs) Notre Dame – When the Baltimore Ravens signed wide receiver Ryan Grant to a four-year $29 million deal with $14.5 million guaranteed, I legitimately almost fell out of my chair, Grant only has 84 receptions and six touchdowns over four seasons. Luckily the Ravens got miraculously bailed out, Ryan Grant failed his physical which voided the contract, and the Ravens signed a much better player in Michael Crabtree to a much more reasonable three year $21 million dollar contract with only $11 million guaranteed. Ryan Grant ended up signing a one year deal worth $5 million with the Colts, much more what he is worth. Wide receiver was a huge area of need for the Ravens entering this offseason, but they did a nice job of filling it in free agency with Crabtree, John Brown and DeVier Posey. Now the Ravens have also added Willie Snead, and while they may not have a number one wide receiver, they suddenly have depth. Another huge weakness for the Ravens since they lost Ricky Wagner in free agency has been right tackle, so in this scenario the Ravens spend another early pick on the offensive line, and draft Notre Dame tackle Mike McGlinchey. A player that started out at right tackle, but who moved to the left side when his former teammate (and current Ravens left tackle) Ronnie Stanley left for the NFL, Mike McGlinchey is a nasty run blocker who can start off on the right side in the NFL and could potentially move to left tackle in the future.
Alternate Pick: Despite the fact that the Ravens signed three wide receiver in free agency, they still need pass catchers, they do not want to be in the position that they have been in recently where Joe Flacco has no downfield weapons on offense. If the Ravens wanted to really insure that Flacco had weapons on offense, they could grab a wide receiver like Courtland Sutton or Calvin Ridley here, then look to address right tackle later in the draft. You have to think that the Ravens will draft a developmental quarterback at some point during the 2018 NFL Draft, and they could also use another tight end, the Ravens relied heavily on 37-year-old Ben Watson last season, he left in free agency, and need to upgrade.
17) Los Angeles Chargers – Vita Vea, DT (6’4 340lbs) Washington – The Chargers have come out and said that the focus of their 2018 NFL Draft would be the defensive side of the ball, and in this scenario they get lucky, because a defender who could hear his name called much earlier falls into their laps at seventeenth overall. While he is huge and a space eater in the trenches, Vita Vea is much more than just a clogger, he has quickness off the ball and athleticism that helped him notch 8.5 sacks over the past two seasons. Vita Vea has the ability to collapse the pocket, so not only will he make plays himself and be an immovable object against the run, but he will free up the Chargers other defensive playmakers like Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram to make plays.
Change from previous mock: Marcus Davenport
Alternate Pick: The Chargers have let the world know they will be looking at defenders so addressing the defensive backfield and draft a player like Joshua Jackson or Jaire Alexander. Safety is another area of need, the ideal player would be Derwin James, but there is no way he lasts until the seventeenth pick. The Chargers believe they should have been a playoff team in 2017, they believe they will be a playoff team in 2018, as long as they make a few tweaks to their defense.
UPDATED RUMOR: A scout told me to keep an eye on the Los Angeles Chargers, they have spent a ton of time scouting the quarterbacks, as they know Philip Rivers only has a year or two left. They are “definitely” considering a trade up if a quarterback begins to slide.
18) Seattle Seahawks – Joshua Jackson, CB (6’ 195lbs) Iowa – The Seahawks have traded or released many of their longtime defensive veterans, there is a youth movement taking place in Seattle, and they have to build the next generation of The Legion Of Boom. Joshua Jackson fits the mold of the type of cornerback that the Seahawks like, he is a big and physical corner, who has ball skills and recorded eight interceptions last season for the Hawkeyes. He will have big shoes to fill, Richard Sherman will not be easy to replace in Seattle, but it is time for the Seahawks to build their secondary of the future.
Alternate Pick: The Seattle Seahawks need to continue to improve their offensive line, Russell Wilson has been running for his life over the past two seasons, and an injury to Wilson likely means the end of the Seahawks season. A player like UTEP guard Will Hernandez is an option for the Seahawks, as is Georgia offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn, who will likely line up at guard in the NFL but has experience at tackle so he brings some versatility.
19) Dallas Cowboys – Courtland Sutton, WR (6’4 218lbs) SMU – The Cowboys released Dez Bryant, and suddenly their depth chart at wide receiver is ugly, Allen Hurns, Terrence Williams and Cole Beasley sit atop their depth chart. A big wide receiver (6’4 218lbs) Sutton caught 68 passes for 1,085 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2017, his second consecutive season with double digit touchdowns. The Cowboys lack size at wide receiver, and Sutton would give Dak Prescott a big target in the red zone, which the Cowboys currently lack.
Change from previous mock: Leighton Vander Esch
Alternate Pick: The Cowboys spent several early selections in the 2017 NFL Draft on the secondary, but I have to think they would be interested in a speedy playmaking corner like Jaire Alexander, who could start in the slot and has the potential to develop into a shutdown corner down the road. Also, the Cowboys signed Cam Flemming from the Patriots to start at right tackle, but I would not be surprised if they spend an early draft pick on a right tackle who could develop into a long term starter. The Patriots gave Cam Flemming a lot of help last season, so if Flemming is alone on an island in Dallas, it could spell trouble.
UPDATED RUMOR: I’ve been told to keep an eye on a versatile tight end for the Dallas Cowboys. Jason Witten interviewed for the vacant Monday Night Football job signaling that the end of his career is near. They have been heavily scouting tight ends that lineup in the slot or even out wide and who can create matchup problems. Keep an eye on Dallas Goedert, Hayden Hurst, or Mark Andrews probably in round two after a defensive player in round one.
20) Detroit Lions – Taven Bryan, DT (6’5 291lbs) Florida – The Detroit Lions have long needed to improve their pass rush, after Ziggy Ansah who will be making $17.5 million under the franchise tag in 2018, the cupboard is pretty bare. While there is not a traditional pass rusher worth the pick here, unless Marcus Davenport falls into the Lions laps, they use the pick to bolster their defensive front seven and draft defensive tackle Taven Bryan out of Florida. Taven Bryan looks the part, he is a physical specimen, who performed exceptionally well at the combine where he put up similar numbers to J. J. Watt. New Lions head coach Matt Patricia will love Taven Bryan, he is scheme versatile, and can line up at multiple positions on the defensive front. While Bryan is a standout athlete and a physical freak whose father was a Navy Seal, he did not put up dominant numbers at Florida and needs to develop as a football player which will come with NFL coaching.
Alternate Pick: The Lions need to find a number one wide receiver for Matthew Stafford in the passing game, which is why I considered Courtland Sutton here, but this draft is pretty weak at wide receiver and Sutton is a bit redundant with 2017 third round pick Kenny Golladay who showed promise as a rookie. The Lions really need pass rushers, so if Marcus Davenport was to fall, you have to think they would rush to the podium. If the Lions go a different route here, expect them to look for pass rush help on day two of the draft, where there are many players available to fill this need. Lions could also use a center so Ohio State’s Billy Price or Iowa’s James Daniels could fill a need.
21) Cincinnati Bengals – Will Hernandez, OG (6’2 340lbs) UTEP – The Cincinnati Bengals offensive line was an embarrassment in 2017, after losing tackle Andrew Whitworth and guard Kevin Zeitler last offseason, and while they started off their rebuilding effort on the right foot by trading for Buffalo Bills left tackle Cordy Glenn more help is need to solidify that unit. In this scenario the Bengals add Will Hernandez, an absolute mauler at guard, who plays the game with incredible strength and a mean streak. Will Hernandez turned heads at the senior bowl, he simply overpowers defenders, and blow up holes in defenses allowing the Bengals to run the football once again. Running backs Joe Mixon and Giovanni Bernard will love this selection, and combined with the addition of a true left tackle in Cordy Glenn, the Bengals offense would improve vastly in the trenches.
Alternate Pick: The Bengals need a tight end, unfortunately promising Tyler Eifert’s career has been derailed by numerous injuries, however with no standout prospect the Bengals can afford to wait a round. The Bengals have signed Matt Barkley to backup Andy Dalton, but they are one of the teams I have heard linked to Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson, if they are looking for a high ceiling developmental quarterback to compete with Dalton down the road. The Bengals have a lot of cornerbacks on the roster, but none have developed into a true lockdown corner, so they could spend another pick on the secondary.
22) Buffalo Bills – D.J. Moore, WR (6’ 210lbs) Maryland – In this scenario the Buffalo Bills did not trade up, they acquired quarterback Josh Allen twelfth overall, and now they need to get him some weapons in the passing game. The Bills depth chart at wide receiver is incredibly thin, the top of the depth chart looks like Kelvin Benjamin (who has been dealing with injuries) and Zay Jones (who the team has to be worried about after a recent video of a naked fight against his brother in the hallway of an apartment building went viral in which he made some bizarre remarks), and after that Rod Streeter and Andre Holmes. Not a lot of talent for the Bills new quarterback to work with, so in this scenario, they draft Maryland wide receiver D.J. Moore. A wide receiver who can really fly downfield, Allen has a big arm, and in this scenario the Bills get a weapon who can take the top off of the defense and go get Allen’s deep balls.
Alternate Pick: The Bills seem to have filled their needs along the defensive line in free agency, by signing nose tackle Star Lotulelei and defensive end Trent Murphy, but one area where the Bills could use more depth is cornerback. The Bills will start 2017 rookie sensation Tre’Davious White and veteran acquisition Vontae Davis at cornerback, but they do not have a lot of depth behind that duo, so in a strong cornerback class a player like Jaire Alexander, Carlton Davis, Mike Hughes or Donte Jackson could make sense. The Bills are in an interesting spot, everyone expects them to trade up to acquire a quarterback, however they are in a position to acquire plenty of talent should they stand pat.
23) New England Patriots – Lamar Jackson, QB (6’3 200lbs) Louisville – Bill Belichick acquired this pick when he shipped wide receiver Brandin Cooks to the Los Angeles Rams, and after trading Jimmy Garoppolo to the 49ers and watching him become an instant star, the Patriots need to find their eventual successor to the legendary Tom Brady. In this scenario, the Patriots find their quarterback of the future when they draft former Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson, who can develop in the Patriots system until the great Tom Brady is ready to step away from football. People have the misconception that Lamar Jackson is only a spread offense quarterback who makes plays while scrambling, but this is not the case, Lamar Jackson comes from Bobby Petrino’s pro-style offense and has a cannon for an arm that should allow him to develop into an effective pocket passer. Jackson makes some incredible plays and throws that will drop your jaw, but he also makes some poor throws and bad decisions that lead to turnovers, who better to develop under than Bill Belichick, Josh McDaniels and Tom Brady?
Alternate Pick: The Patriots have many need areas to address, because they lost several key players (Malcolm Butler, Nate Solder, Brandin Cooks, Cam Flemming, Dion Lewis, Danny Amendola), so they could look to the secondary and draft a player like Jaire Alexander, Mike Hughes or Justin Reid. The Patriots also need to rebuild their offensive line, especially to address their holes at tackle, so they could look at a player like Kolton Miller, Connor Williams or Geron Chirstian would make sense. Of course, it’s the Patriots and they have two first round and two second round picks, so it’s almost a lock that trades are coming. Georgia running back Sony Michel would be an incredible fit as a Dion Lewis replacement.
24) Carolina Panthers – Justin Reid, S (6’1 205lbs) Stanford – You can argue that the Carolina Panthers biggest need is a safety who can start opening day next to Mike Adams, and in this scenario, they fill that need by drafting Justin Reid out of Stanford. The brother of former LSU star and NFL Pro Bowl safety Eric Reid, Justin Reid has the size and physical toughness to play in the box, but also has the speed to cover deep. Truly a prototypical modern day NFL safety, Reid is also touted for his leadership, and he would be an excellent fit in the Carolina secondary.
Alternate Pick: The Carolina Panthers believe that they are close to winning the Super Bowl as presently constructed, however they definitely need pass rush help as their best players at pressuring the quarterback are the 38-year-old Julius Peppers and Mario Addison, so they swing for the fences and draft a boom-or-bust pass rusher in Arden Key or a player like Sam Hubbard or Harold Landry. The Panthers have shown interest in Maryland wide receiver D.J. Moore and could also solidify the interior offensive line after losing Andrew Norwell in free agency.
25) Tennessee Titans – Rashaan Evans, ILB (6’3 235lbs) Alabama – I have pass rusher as the Tennessee Titans biggest need as the 2018 NFL Draft approaches, but with nobody really worth the selection at this point of the draft, the Titans replace inside linebacker Avery Williamson who they lost in free agency with Alabama’s Rashaan Evans. A sideline-to-sideline linebacker who has great speed, Evans is quick to make reads, and will use his excellent instincts to make plays all over the field. Evans improved greatly throughout 2017, he is tough and played through an injury much of the season to lead the National Champion defense, he finished the season with 74 tackles and six sacks. While the Titans have a few inside linebackers on their roster, none of them have the speed and instincts of Evans, who would offer an immediate upgrade.
Alternate Pick: The Titans really need to upgrade their pass rush, they do not have much on the roster behind the soon to be 32-year-old Brian Orakpo and the 29-year-old Derrick Morgan, unfortunately 2016 second round pick Kevin Dodd only has one career sack and looks to be a bust. The Titans have two of the best bookend tackles in the league in Taylor Lewan and Jack Conklin, they are set at center with the solid Ben Jones, but they need help at guard so a player like James Daniels, Isaiah Wynn or Will Hernandez would make sense.
26) Atlanta Falcons – Jaire Alexander, CB (5’10 195lbs) Louisville – The Falcons love speed on defense and Jaire Alexander has speed to burn, after running a 4.38 40-yard-dash at the combine, but what scouts consistently mention is his toughness and ability to make plays in the running game. Alexander has a nose for the football, and he also can impact special teams, both in coverage and as a punt returner. From a pure coverage standpoint, he is probably the second most gifted cornerback prospect in the draft, after Denzel Ward.
Change from previous mock: D.J. Moore
Alternate Pick: The Atlanta Falcons have possibly the NFL’s best wide receiver in Julio Jones, they have a solid number two wideout in Mohammed Sanu, then they have…not much else. This allowed opposing defenses to focus all of their attention on Julio Jones in 2017, which limited quarterback Matt Ryan’s effectiveness, as he had to force throws to Julio while he was heavily covered. The Falcons need more threats on offense, who opposing defenses will need to account for, which in turn will allow Julio Jones more opportunities to succeed. I had Maryland wide receiver D.J. Moore here in my previous mock to take over the role Taylor Gabriel played two years ago and that would make a lot of sense. The Falcons could also use more beef in their defensive line after losing Dontari Poe and Adrian Clayborn during free agency, another space eater next to Grady Jarrett would make sense, so Michigan’s Maurice Hurst or Stanford’s Harrison Phillips could be fits. The Falcons could also look to upgrade offensive guard, so James Daniels, Isaiah Wynn or Will Hernandez fit.
27) New Orleans Saints – Dallas Goedert, TE (6’5 255lbs) South Dakota State – The Saints have spent a lot of time scouting quarterbacks in this draft class, but in this scenario there are none available worth the pick, and as the Saints believe they are close to winning the Super Bowl they bring in another weapon for Drew Brees in the passing game. The Saints have several tight ends on the roster, including the recently signed 37-year-old Benjamin Watson and unimpressive veteran Colby Fleener, so here they add a dynamic young talent in South Dakota State tight end Dallas Goedert. A player that can lineup at tight end, in the slot or out wide, Goedert had 92 receptions for 1,293 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2017 and can immediately become a versatile threat in the passing game for Drew Brees. Goedert is too fast for linebackers to cover, and too big for defensive backs to cover, he is a true matchup nightmare which every team looks for in the modern NFL.
Alternate Pick: If Lamar Jackson is available, he could be the pick, and if the Saints pay up to trade down Lamar Jackson could be the pick. However, the Saints believe they are close to contending, so you would think that they want to find immediate contributors on both sides of the ball. The Saints could use an inside linebacker, so while they signed Demarrio Davis, a player like Rashaan Evans could make sense here. The Saints could also use help at safety, so a player like Justin Reid who is ready for action on day one would make sense, he could provide an immediate plug and play upgrade.
28) Pittsburgh Steelers – Leighton Vander Esch, LB (6’4 255lbs) Boise State – The Steelers have a need at inside linebacker, and in this scenario they fill that void with Leighton Vander Esch, a long and rangy linebacker who reminds me of Dallas Cowboys star Sean Lee. While Leighton Vander Esch only started one year at Boise State he certainly made the most of it, he totaled 141 tackles, 8.5 for loss, four sacks, en route to being named the Mountain West Conference Defensive Player Of The Year. Vander Esch is long and lean, he needs to get stronger and fill out his frame, but he could be a fixture in the middle of the Steelers front seven for years to come. Vander Esch is going to be an interesting player to follow on draft night, some teams have him graded as a top 20 pick, while we have heard one team flunked him medically and would not draft him at all.
Change from previous mock: Jaire Alexander
Alternate Pick: The Steelers could look to find Ben Roethlisberger’s eventual successor, and they are rumored to have some level of interest in Lamar Jackson, but could also sit tight and draft Mason Rudolph. We have also heard the Steelers have again been scouting pass rushers, a position that they often seem to address late in the first round, so Lorenzo Carter out of Georgia or Harold Landry from Boston College or Ohio State’s Sam Hubbard could make sense. The Steelers are still working on rebuilding their secondary, and while they have invested several picks in the position recently, they could do so again here and select a player like Jaire Alexander if he were available.
29) Jacksonville Jaguars – Anthony Miller, WR (6’ 190lbs) Memphis – I do not remember writing this before in the history of the franchise, but the Jacksonville Jaguars are loaded, the one question that remains is will Blake Bortles play the quarterback position well enough for the Jaguars to be true Super Bowl contenders. The Jaguars lost Allen Robinson in free agency, and while they have a lot of wideouts on the roster, they do not have a true number one wide receiver on the outside. Anthony Miller has flown under the radar and is one of the most underrated players in the 2018 Draft, he is a highly competitive player who can play inside or outside, he caught 95 passes for 1,434 yards and 14 touchdowns in 2017 and would be a welcome addition to the Jaguars offense.
Alternate Pick: The Jaguars will draft a developmental quarterback at some point, they only have Blake Bortles and Cody Kessler on the roster, so this could be the slot for Mason Rudolph. While he needs development, Rudolph has an NFL arm, and he will have the opportunity to challenge Blake Bortles if he can prove he gives the team a better chance to win. The Jaguars do not have a lot of explosiveness in the passing game on offense, so a player like Christian Kirk could make sense, an elite slot receiver and punt returner. The Jags could also use a slot cornerback, so if Jaire Alexander was available, he could be a fit.
30) Minnesota Vikings – James Daniels, C/OG (6’3 306) Iowa – The Minnesota Vikings acquired quarterback Kirk Cousins this offseason, they believe they are poised to win the Super Bowl, but they have to be sure Cousins has adequate protection. In this scenario they draft the versatile James Daniels, who can play either center or guard, and the Vikings have needs in the interior offensive line. Daniels is an elite athlete for an interior offensive lineman, he gets to the second level easily, and picks up blocks on defenders that other interior lineman would not be able to make. Daniels needs to get stronger, which shows on tape and is proven by his 21 bench press reps at the combine, but his quickness and agility is rare for an interior lineman.
Alternate Pick: The Vikings could like Billy Price or Frank Ragnow more than James Daniels, so he could be the pick, depending on who the team thinks fits their scheme better. The Vikings get running back Dalvin Cook back from a knee injury, but they lost Jerrick McKinnon in free agency, so while it seems like a luxury pick Sony Michel would be a dangerous weapon in the slot and as a third down back. The Vikings could also use another corner, names to keep in mind are Jaire Alexander and Mike Hughes.
31) New England Patriots – Connor Williams, OT (6’5 315lbs) Texas – This would just be an ideal fit for the Patriots, Conor Williams looked to be a lock top ten pick entering the 2017 season, but after struggling through injuries his tape did not hold up which has caused him to slide as a prospect. Some NFL Draft experts think Williams will be a right tackle only, other think he is better suited at guard, however I personally believe Conor Williams will develop into an excellent left tackle in the NFL. Williams is as tough as they come, he is also a team leader, and he is a technician as an offensive linemen. In a weak offensive tackle class, I think the Williams could be a steal as long as he develops into the player we saw in 2016 and is not the player we saw in 2017 going forward.
Alternate Pick: The Patriots need to find their offensive tackles of the future, and with four picks in the draft’s first two round, I expect them to address that need. Other names to keep in mind are Kolton Miller, Brian O’Neill and Geron Christian. The Patriots need to keep Tom Brady upright during the twilight of his career, so finding a tackle or two would fill a big need, with Nate Solder and Cam Flemming leaving in free agency.
32) Philadelphia Eagles – Kolton Miller, OT (6’8 310lbs) UCLA – The Philadelphia Eagles will enter the 2018 season as the defending Super Bowl Champions, but starting left tackle Jason Peters is 36-years-old and coming off a torn ACL, while backup Halapoulivaati Vaitai struggled when he was forced into action. In this scenario, the Eagles upgrade the position, and find an understudy for Peters if he can return healthy or a replacement if he cannot. Much like Jason Peters, Kolton Miller is huge at (6’8 310lbs), and he did a nice job protecting Josh Rosen’s blindside in 2017. Being as tall as Kolton Miller does come with some challenges, he does not play low enough and is not as fluid of an athlete as you would like to see at left tackle, but with some coaching and added strength he has the chance to develop into a solid NFL starter.
Alternate Pick: The Eagles could use another wide receiver, they lost Torrey Smith this offseason, so they could use a weapon particularly on the outside. They added Mike Wallace to replace Torrey Smith, but they can do better, and a young receiver with speed would be a nice fit. Philly could also use another linebacker, they signed Paul Worrilow in free agency, but the position could be upgraded further during the draft.
33) Cleveland Browns – Geron Christian, OT (6’6 310lbs) Louisville – The Browns kick off the second frame by adding a left tackle of the future, which has become a position of need, after the recently retired Joe Thomas held the position down for a decade.
34) New York Giants – Isiah Wynn, OG (6’2 310lbs) Georgia – The Giants needs along the offensive line are well documented, so they draft former Georgia left tackle Isiah Wynn, who will kick inside to guard in the pros but has positional versatility.
35) Cleveland Browns – Derrius Guice (5’10 215lbs) LSU – The Browns add a powerful tailback, which they do not have on the roster, behind Carlos Hyde and Duke Johnson.
36) Indianapolis Colts – Sony Michel, RB (5’11 215lbs) Georgia – The Colts add a potential game breaker on offense who can help in the running game and in the passing game and will add explosive ability to the offense.
37) Indianapolis Colts – Harold Landry, DE/OLB (6’3 250lbs) Boston College – The Colts select an ultra-productive pass rusher, who many expected to declare for the 2017 NFL Draft after collecting 16.5 sacks as a junior, then slid a bit due to injuries senior year holding him to 5.0 sacks. Harold Landry reminds me of Titans pass rusher Derrick Morgan who ha 44.0 career sacks.
38) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Ronald Jones II, RB (5’11 200lbs) USC – The Buccaneers need an upgrade at running back and they get one here by selecting USC star Ronald Jones II who had 1,550 yards and 19 touchdowns in 2017.
39) Chicago Bears – Isaiah Oliver, CB (6’1 190lbs) Colorado – The Bears have been tied to Isaiah Oliver throughout the draft process, the big and long armed corner would be a nice fit for defensive coordinator Vic Fangio’s scheme.
40) Denver Broncos – Donte Jackson, CB (5’10 180lbs) LSU – In this scenario the Broncos draft a speedy cornerback who can replace Aquib Talib and start right away in their secondary.
41) Oakland Raiders – Maurice Hurst, DT (6’2 285lbs ) Michigan – Now medically cleared after an issue was detected at the combine, Hurst is a first round caliber talent, and the soft up the middle Raiders defense needs more beef up front.
42) Miami Dolphins – Mike Gesicki, TE (6’5 245lbs) Penn State – The Dolphins need a tight end and Mike Gesicki is an absolute athletic freak who reminds scouts of Rob Gronkowski at times, but he needs to play at a high level more consistently.
43) New England Patriots – Lorenzo Carter, OLB (6’5 250lbs) Georgia – An athletic freak who was incredible at the combine, Lorenzo Carter would be a great fit in New England, the Patriots need to upgrade their pass rush.
44) Washington Redskins – Christian Kirk, WR (5’10 200lbs) Texas A&M – Alex Smith needs weapons on offense, and Christian Kirk is a speedy receiver who does his best work in the slot, and also can help in the return game. Kirk is flying under the radar but he has star potential.
45) Green Bay Packers – Jessie Bates, S (6’1 200lbs) Wake Forest – The Packers need a safety to replace Morgan Burnett, and Jessie Bates is a hot name as the draft approaches, he is an athletic safety who would be an excellent fit.
46) Cincinnati Bengals – Hayden Hurst, TE (6’4 250lbs) South Carolina – It seemed like the Bengals had their tight end in Tyler Eifert, but injuries have derailed his career, and Andy Dalton could use another weapon in the passing game.
47) Arizona Cardinals – Mason Rudolph, QB (6’5 235lbs) Oklahoma State – The Cardinals need a quarterback of the future, Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon are not the long term answer, and they get a strong armed prospect in Rudolph who fits their style of play.
48) Los Angeles Chargers – Mike Hughes, CB (5’10 190lbs) Central Florida – The Chargers made it clear this would be a defensive draft, so they use this pick to upgrade their secondary, and grab a talented corner in Mike Hughes.
49) Indianapolis Colts – Martinas Rankin, OT (6’5 305lbs) Mississippi State – The Colts must protect Andrew Luck, their offensive line has been an issue for too long, and they get an upgrade by drafting Rankin.
50) Dallas Cowboys – Sam Hubbard, DE (6’5 270lbs) Ohio State – The Cowboys get a relentless defensive lineman with a high motor who could have star potential in Sam Hubbard.
51) Detroit Lions – Frank Ragnow, C (6’5 310lbs) Arkansas – The Lions need a center, and Frank Ragnow could be the best in the draft. Hearing whispers this week that he could sneak into round one, the Vikings are a possibility, Ragnow is a hot name this week.
52) Baltimore Ravens – James Washington, WR (6’ 210lbs) Oklahoma State – The Ravens will not make the mistake of having a horrible wide receiver depth chart again, Washington has been going and getting deep balls from Mason Rudolph for the past several years, and now he can do the same for Joe Flacco. Washington reminds me a bit of former Ravens star Steve Smith.
53) Buffalo Bills – Billy Price, C/G (6’4 312lbs) Ohio State – The Bills need a center, and Billy Price slides a bit due to a partially torn pectoral, but he is expected to be ready for training camp.
54) Kansas City Chiefs – Ronnie Harrison, S (6’2 207lbs) Alabama – The Chiefs need a safety, and Ronnie Harrison is a physical player who is a gifted athlete, he will be an immediate upgrade in Kansas City.
55) Carolina Panthers – D.J. Chark, WR (6’3 200lbs) LSU – D.J. Chark can flat out fly, he ran a blazing 4.34 40-yard-dash at the NFL combine, he can use his elite speed to get behind defenses and could be a star if he develops consistency.
56) Buffalo Bills – Orlando Brown, OT (6’8 350lbs) Oklahoma – Despite the fact that Orlando Brown had one of the worst combine workouts in recent memory, he is an incredible physical talent with NFL bloodlines, and the Bills need to fill a lot of holes on their offensive line.
57) Tennessee Titans – Dorance Armstrong, OLB/DE (6’4 255lbs) Kansas – New head coach Mike Vrabel will want to upgrade his pass rush, and the Titans get an excellent athlete in Dorance Armstrong, who will likely start his career as a situational pass rusher.
58) Atlanta Falcons – Mark Andrews, TE (6’5 255lbs) Oklahoma – The Falcons need more weapons on offense to keep the attention off Julio Jones, Mark Andrews is a tight end, but he can also line up out wide or in the slot.
59) San Francisco 49ers – Equanimeous St. Brown, WR (6’5 215lbs) Notre Dame – The 49ers go get a big and athletic target for the face of their franchise quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo.
60) Pittsburgh Steelers – Carlton Davis, CB (6’1 205lbs) Auburn – The Steelers get a big and physical cornerback as they continue to rebuild their secondary.
61) Jacksonville Jaguars – Kyle Lauletta, QB (6’3 215lbs) Richmond – The Jaguars get a smart and accurate quarterback to compete with Blake Bortles and who can step in if Bortles falters.
62) Minnesota Vikings – Arden Key, DE (6’6 250lbs) LSU – An enormous physical talent who should really be top fifteen pick, Arden Key has character concerns and injury issues which will cause him to slide, but a strong organization like the Vikings will gamble on a potential double digit sack producer.
63) New England Patriots – Anthony Averett, CB (5’11 185lbs) Alabama – The Patriots address a need in their secondary and select a battle tested cornerback with big game experience.
64) Cleveland Browns – Marcell Ateman, WR (6’1 215lbs) Oklahoma State – The Browns get a target in the passing game who can get vertical for their new quarterback.
– Brain O’Neill, OT (6’6 305lbs) Pittsburgh
– Nick Chubb, RB (5’11 228lbs) Georgia
– Braden Smith, OG (6’6 303lbs) Auburn
– Rashaad Penny, RB (5’11 220lbs) San Diego State
– Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, OLB (6’1 245) Oklahoma
– Harrison Phillips, DT (6’4 305lbs) Stanford
– Kerryon Johnson, RB (6’ 210lbs) Auburn
– Justin Jones, DT (6’2 310) NC State
– Austin Corbett, OG (6’4 305lbs) Nevada
– B.J. Hill, DT (6’4 315lbs) NC State
– Terrell Edmunds, LB/S (6’2 220lbs) Virginia Tech
– Nathan Shepherd, DT (6’5 315lbs) Fort Hays St.
– Josey Jewell, LB (6’1 235lbs) Iowa
– Trenton Thompson, DT (6’4 295lbs) Georgia
– Breeland Speaks, DE/DT (6’3 285lbs) Ole Miss
– Dante Pettis, WR (6’1 192lbs) Washington
– Deon Cain, WR (6’2 200lbs) Clemson
– Malik Jefferson, LB (6’3 3235lbs) Texas
– Da’Shawn Hand, DE/DT (6’4 295lbs) Alabama
– Duke Dawson, CB (5’11 195lbs) Florida
– Tyquan Lewis, DE (6’3 270lbs) Ohio State
– Nick Nelson, CB (5’11 205lbs) Wisconsin
– DaShon Elliot, S (6’2 205lbs) Texas
– Tavarus McFadden, CB (6’2 200lbs) Florida State
– Darius Leonard, LB (6’2 215lbs) South Carolina State
– Rasheem Green, DE (6’4 275lbs) USC
– Shaquem Griffin, OLB (6′ 230) UCF
– Jordan Whitehead, S (5’10 195lbs) Pittsburgh
– DaeSean Hamilton, WR (6’1 205lbs) Penn State
– Uchenna Nwosu, OLB (6’1 250lbs) USC
– Josh Sweat, DE/OLB (6’4 250lbs) Florida State
– Ian Thomas, TE (6’4 260lbs) Indiana
– Tyrell Crosby, OT (6’5 310lbs) Oregon
– M.J. Stewart, CB (5’11 200lbs) North Carolina
– Desmond Harrison, OT (6’6 290lbs) West Georgia
– Kameron Kelly, S (6’2 205lbs) San Diego State
– Jordan Lasley, WR (6’1 205lbs) UCLA
– Jerome Baker, OLB (6’1 230lbs) Ohio State
– Jalyn Holmes, DE (6’4 280lbs) Ohio State
– Jordan Atkins, TE (6’3 250lbs) UCF
– Tre’Quan Smith, WR (6’2 210lbs) UCF
– Oren Burks, LB (6’3 235lbs) Vanderbilt
– Michael Gallup, WR (6′ 205lbs) Colorado State
– Jamarco Jones, OT (6’4 300lbs) Ohio State
– Antonio Callaway, WR (5’11 200lbs) Florida
– Luke Falk, QB (6’4 215lbs) Washington State
– Bo Scarbrough, RB (6’2 230lbs) Alabama
– Nyheim Hines, RB (5’8 200lbs) NC State
– Tim Settle, DT (6’3 330lbs) Virginia Tech
– Issac Yiadom, CB (6’1 190lbs) Boston College
– Colby Gossett, OG (6’5 315lbs) Appalachian State