2018 NFL Mock Draft
Kyle Wandel takes an early look at the 2018 draft
1. Cleveland Browns: Josh Rosen – QB – UCLA
The DeShone Kizer experiment looks like a failure and this time the Browns can’t afford to wait on their QB. Rosen is a polarizing prospect that will generate some head scratching headlines, but his talent is immense. Rosen may just be the savior the Browns have been looking for.
2. San Francisco 49ers: Saquan Barkley – RB – Penn State
Kirk Cousins to San Francisco is pretty much a done deal. Carlos Hyde’s contract is up at the end of this season and I’d be surprised if they re-sign him. We’ve seen how an elite RB can impact an offense and Barkley is about to make Cousins’ life a breeze.
3. Chicago Bears: Quenton Nelson – OL – Notre Dame
The Bears have found their franchise QB in Trubisky, and now need to build around him. Lacking a true WR1, they could potentially select a WR, but with no one standing out and selecting Kevin White in 2015, there is no value with a WR so early. Nelson is arguably the best offensive linemen in the draft and could be a top-five pick.
4. New York Jets: Sam Darnold – QB – USC
The Jets are overperforming so far in 2017 which may hurt their chances at landing one of the top QBs in the draft. In this scenario Darnold declares for the draft, and the Jets end up getting their franchise QB.
5. Los Angeles Chargers: Derwin James – S – Florida State
The Chargers lost Eric Weddle to free agency a year ago and many pegged them to go safety early last year. LAC could also begin looking for Philip Rivers’ replacement, given the recent play from the 36-year old QB. James is an athletic freak and has all-world potential.
6. Indianapolis Colts: Orlando Brown – OT – Oklahoma
The Colts have done a horrific job at protecting Andrew Luck since the start of his career. They have a chance to fix that this year and it starts with a franchise LT. Brown is massive, and has put up incredible numbers this year against some serious competition, which includes two future top picks from Ohio State.
7. New York Giants: Connor Williams – OT – Texas
New York will also be in the running for one of the top QBs, but at this spot they will miss out. The Giants have a tendency to select high potential tackles, and Williams has the highest ceiling of any tackle prospect this year.
8. Miami Dolphins: Bradley Chubb – DE – N.C. State
Cameron Wake isn’t getting any younger which means the Dolphins could be in the market for a pass-rusher. Chubb is one of the best defensive players in all of college football, and could make an immediate impact in Miami.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars: Minkah Fitzpatrick – DB – Alabama
What is already a loaded secondary gets even better. Fitzpatrick is a versatile DB who can play safety or corner. With the addition of Fitzpatrick, the Jaguars secondary would have a chance to be the best in the league for a long time to come.
10. Baltimore Ravens: Christian Kirk – WR – Texas A&M
Baltimore needs playmakers on offense. Kirk is an explosive athlete and is excellent after the catch. After many failed free agents, Baltimore should try their hand at fixing the position through the draft.
11. Buffalo Bills: Denzel Ward – CB – Ohio State
After trading Ronald Darby this season, the Bills are in need of a true cover corner. Ward is another corner from Ohio State with limited playing experience, but has exceptional talent. Given the success of other corners from Ohio State in recent years, Ward looks to be a lock for the 1st round.
12. Arizona Cardinals: Josh Allen – QB – Wyoming
Carson Palmer is 37 years old and the Cardinals need a new QB. Bruce Arians loves quarterbacks with big frames and even bigger arms. Allen is an interesting prospect who has elite traits, but has been inconsistent in college. With time to develop and a good coach, Allen has out-of-this-world potential.
13. Cincinnati Bengals: Tarvarus McFadden – CB – Florida State
McFadden has had a rough start to the 2017 season, but should still be considered a top corner. His length is a major plus and has scouts drooling. If he continues to play at an inconsistent level, his stock might start to slip.
14. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Arden Key – DE – LSU
The Buccaneers will be in the market for a pass rusher come draft time. Many believe that Key is the best defensive prospect in the draft his year, however, off field issues may cause him to slip. After missing fivemonths worth of football, Key is finally getting back into football shape.
15. Oakland Raiders: Malik Jefferson – LB – Texas
Oakland is seriously lacking in the middle of the field on the defensive side. Jefferson has some question marks off the field, but is a fast, aggressive attacking LB who has the ability to play sideline to sideline.
16. Tennessee Titans: Jaire Alexander – CB – Louisville
The Titans took Adoree Jackson in last year’s draft and need a smooth cover corner to go with the fast twitch speedster in Jackson. Alexander is excellent in coverage and is one of the smoothest in college football.
17. New Orleans Saints: Christian Wilkins – DL – Clemson
After adding a legitimate CB1 last year in Marshon Lattimore, the Saints will continue their defensive overhaul with a disruptive force up front. Wilkins is both an excellent pass rusher and run stopper in the middle of best defensive line in college football.
18. Washington Redskins: Luke Falk – QB – Washington State
As mentioned earlier, Cousins is no longer in Washington D.C. in this draft scenario, and the Redskins are in desperate need of a QB. Falk has NFL size and is an accurate QB. He compares similarly to Cousins, and under the right coaching could develop into a nice NFL starter.
19. Detroit Lions: Austin Bryant – DE – Clemson
20. Cleveland Browns (from HOU): Courtland Sutton – WR – SMU
With the 1st pick the Browns got their Franchise QB, and now they need weapons. With arguably the worst receiving corps in the NFL, the Browns get the receiver with the most potential in this draft class. Sutton plays for a smaller school, but his 6’4″ 215-pound frame will make him one of the first receivers selected.
21. Los Angeles Rams: Billy Price – OL – Ohio State
The Rams are showing incredible potential on offense so far this season. In order to build off this season they should look to bolster the offensive line some. Price can play either guard or center and would be a huge help in both the passing and running game.
22. Carolina Panthers: Sam Hubbard – DE – Ohio State
After another concussion for Luke Kuechly means linebacker might be one of the top needs. However, Hubbard is an excellent run stopper and is also a serviceable pass rusher. The value of Hubbard will be too great and Carolina will pounce on him.
23. Denver Broncos: Derrius Guice – RB – LSU
The Broncos have only had one 1,000 yard rusher since the 2010 season. They get a chance to fix that for years to come by selecting the physical and hard runner from LSU. Guice is having a down year, but should still be the next back taken after Barkley.
24. Dallas Cowboys: Maurice Hurst – DT – Michigan
Dallas is set and loaded on offense and addressed a major need by selecting two corners last year. This year they address another need and get big Mo Hurst. Hurst is a quick-twitch interior lineman with excellent burst off the line of scrimmage.
25. Minnesota Vikings: Mitch Hyatt – OT – Clemson
With much improved line play, this pick could go elsewhere, but the Vikings offensive line rebuild is still in effect. Hyatt isn’t mentioned as much as other top tackles prospects, but he has franchise left tackle potential.
26. Green Bay Packers: Cameron Smith – LB – USC
27. Atlanta Falcons: Armani Watts – S – Texas A&M
28. Seattle Seahawks: Trey Adams – OT – Washington
Seattle needs a lot of help along the offensive line. Adams recently just tore his ACL but should still be considered a top prospect. He has been one of the best tackles in the Pac-12 the past two years, and has been a major reason for Washington’s recent success.
29. Philadelphia Eagles: Isaiah Oliver – CB – Colorado
With no glaring weaknesses so far in 2017, Philadelphia should look to improve its over-performing secondary. Oliver has generated a lot of buzz in 2017 and is one of the biggest risers. The long athletic corner is excellent in man coverage.
30. Buffalo Bills (from KC): Damien Harris – RB – Alabama
LeSean McCoy isn’t getting any younger and with no talent behind him will be a huge need in the coming years. Harris is the lesser known running back from Alabama, but he is probably the better prospect. Averaging a ridiculous 9.2 yards per carry, and is a true 3 down back, which is something most RB prospects cannot say.
31. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jerome Baker – LB – Ohio State
Big Ben’s future is a major question mark, and QB could become the top priority soon. For now, Baker is the selection, and he makes an already fast and aggressive defense even more explosive. With Shazier and Baker in the middle and Watt on the outside, Pittsburgh could quietly have the best linebacker unit in the NFL.
31. New England Patriots: Clelin Ferrell – DE – Clemson
The Patriots need help at all positions on defense. The most important position on the field other than quarterback is a pass rusher. New England gets an absolute steal by selecting Ferrell. He is only a Sophomore and argubly has the most potential out of the star studded Clemson defensive line.