The 2018 NFL Draft begins tomorrow, but there is still uncertainty regarding the top 10. The quarterback carousel has many heads spinning, and the wide receiver debate has recently heated up. Where will Baker Mayfield and Josh Rosen land? Will Lamar Jackson be a quarterback before the season starts? Expect to see plenty of trades and shakeups, so buckle up, it’s going to get wild. Here is my final mock draft for the 2018-2019 season:
- Cleveland Brown – Sam Darnold (USC)
With the signing of Tyrod Taylor, the Browns have a capable quarterback who can lead the team past their 0-16 finish of last season. At the same time, the Browns would be crazy not to draft their QB of the future here with the first spot.
2. New York Giants – QB Josh Allen (Wyoming)
Although the temptation to draft Saquon Barkley will be tough to fight, the Giants need to draft Eli Manning’s replacement now. A year or two of development behind the two-time super bowl champion would be huge for the future of the Giants, and may even help with the retaining of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
3. New York Jets – QB Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma)
The resigning of Josh McCown and the addition of Teddy Bridgewater gives the Jets a
bit of leeway to draft a QB that is a bit of a risk but has huge upside. Mayfield has never
had a problem with cameras, so the New York City spotlight shouldn’t be too much of a shocker to him. At the end of the day, the Jets needs a playmaker, and that is the exactly what Mayfield is. Sounds like a win-win for both sides.
4. Cleveland Browns – RB Saquon Barkley (Penn State)
A no-brainer for the Browns. Many fans question whether the team would draft Barkley after signing Carlos Hyde to a three year contract upwards of $15 million, but there is a such thing as talent that can’t be passed on. Barkley has the potential to be an amazing running back the could change the dimensions of an offense. Similar to Ezekiel Elliot, but without all the trouble. Keep in mind, the Cowboys did sign Alfred Morris just weeks before they drafted Elliot. Look for the same situation here with the Browns.
5. Denver Broncos – DE Bradley Chubb (NC State)
Originally one of the teams expected to draft a QB, the Broncos went out and signed Case Keenum to a two year, $36 million contract. This allows Denver to focus on shoring up a defense that led them to a Super Bowl championship in 2015. Bradley Chubb is expected to be a disruption coming from the edge, and teaming him with Von Miller is a scary thought.
6. Indianapolis Colts – OG Quenton Nelson (Notre Dame)
After switching to a 4-3 defense, the Colts have a needs in the defensive line, but first they have to at least atempt to shore up the offensive line. Eventually, Andrew Luck will be back and they need to find a way to protect their 2012 investment.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – RB Nick Chubb (Georgia)
The departure of Doug Martin puts running back at the top of the list for the Buccaneers. Being in the NFC South where the run game is huge, Tampa is the only team that doesn’t have any sense of a run game. With linebackers like Luke Kuechly, Deion Jones, and A.J. Klein all in the same division, Tampa has to draft a running back who can get into the open field as well take hits when it comes time. Chubb is that man.
8. Chicago Bears – LB Tremaine Edmunds (Virginia Tech)
The Bears haven’t been a dominant defense since days of Brian Urlacher and Charles Tillman. It is time to change this and linebacker is always a good way to start. Edmunds is one of the most athletic LBs in the draft and will help jump start a defense that needs a spark plug.
9. San Francisco 49ers – DE Marcus Davenport (Texas-San Antonio)
After trading for Jimmy Garoppolo, the 49ers offensive made a drastic change in the right direction. The defense still needs work, especially in a division that includes the Rams’ high powered offense. The cornerback position received a boost with the addition Richard Sherman but the edge rush needs a lot of help. After placing 26th in sacks last season, defensive end has to be a priority. Davenport is big and fast and fits right into the 49ers attacking defense. He is a bit raw, but with proper coaching, he could make an immediate impact in a rotational role.
10. Oakland Raiders – CB Denzel Ward (Ohio State)
The Raiders offense has been good at getting in the end zone but the defense has struggled to keep everyone else out of the same area. Denzel Ward has been considered the best cornerback in the draft since the NCAA football season ended. This is an easy selection for a team that needs a CB who can shut down an entire side of the field, and help get the ball back into the hands of Derek Carr. Plus, we all know Jon Gruden wants to have as many opportunities to run his favorite play, Spider 2 Y Banana.
11. Miami Dolphins – DT Vita Vea (Washington)
12. Buffalo Bills – QB Josh Rosen (UCLA)
I actually expect Buffalo to find a way to trade into the top 4 spots to obtain a quarterback, but assuming this doesn’t happen, they still take a chance select Josh Rosen later on in the draft. He is projected to be a bit more raw than the others, but can still become the QB of the future with some time.
13. Washington Redskins – CB Josh Jackson (Iowa)
14. Green Bay Packers – S Minkah Fitzpatrick (Alabama)
15. Arizona Cardinals – QB Lamar Jackson (Louisville)
The Cardinals need a quarterback, there is no debate about this. Yes, they have Sam Bradford but we all know how the Bradford train goes. Sam has a good first two weeks, then the injury bug strikes again. Lamar is a future NFL superstar who just needs an opportunity to grow. With leadership coming from Larry Fitzgerald and the quarterback experience of Sam Bradford, Lamar Jackson has a chance to succeed here. Also, Jackson is known for extending plays, and Larry Fitzgerald is known for doing the same better than any other receiver in the league. Seems like a nice one-two punch.
16. Baltimore Ravens – WR Calvin Ridley (Alabama)
17. Los Angeles Chargers – OT Mike McGLinchey (Notre Dame)
18. Seattle Seahawks – OG Will Hernandez (Texas-El Paso)
Draft Gameplan: Keep Russell Wilson from running for his life on every single pass play. That is all.
19. Dallas Cowboys – WR D.J. Moore (Maryland)
After the release of Dez Bryant, the Cowboys have to find a wide receiver who can fit the play style of Dak Prescott. The young signal caller is not a deep ball passer but thrives in short precise throws like slants, digs and curls. D.J. Moore as extremely fast and excels in the type of throws that made Prescott look like a superstar in the making. This pick will ease the pain of the Cowboys’ faithful who are upset about Dez Bryant’s release. It also may help Jason Garrett keep his job another year. Seems like a must to me.
20. Detroit Lions – TE Hayden Hurst (South Carolina)
21. Cincinnati Bengals – C James Daniels (Iowa)
22. Buffalo Bills – OG Isaiah Wynn (Georgia)
23. New England Patriots – S Derwin James (Florida State)
24. Carolina Panthers – WR Courtland Sutton (Southern Methodist University)
The Panthers have major needs at cornerback and wide receiver. Although cornerback Bashaud Breeland failed his physical and will no longer sign with the team, they did sign Ross Cockrell who will suffice opposite James Bradberry. A trade for Torrey Smith is a nice gesture, but he is not the long term answer for Cam Newton and co. At 6’4, 225 lbs and a 4.54 40-yard dash, Courtland Sutton is the big body wide receiver the Panthers have been chasing for years. Cam Newton is known for overthrowing his targets and Sutton’s height and speed prevent this from being a common occurrence between the two. Expect years of dominance from this duo.
25. Tennessee Titans – DE Harold Landry (Boston College)
26. Atlanta Falcons – DT Taven Bryan (Florida)
After losing Dontari Poe to the Carolina Panthers, the Falcons need to address the defensive tackle position immediately. Finding an athletic defensive tackle is hard to do, but luckily Taven Bryan will fall right into the hands of Dan Quinn. Like most players who really on their athleticism, there will be polishing needed, but the potential undeniable and the Falcons don’t have a choice but to take a chance.
27. New Orleans Saints – TE Mike Gesicki (Penn State)
28. Pittsburgh Steelers – LB Roquan Smith (Georgia)
29. Jacksonville Jaguars – LB Rashaan Evans (Alabama)
30. Minnesota Vikings – OT Kolton Miller (UCLA)
31. New England Patriots – QB Mason Rudolph (Oklahoma State)
After trading away every quality backup on the roster, the Patriots have to draft someone to take over Brady’s place when he finally decides to begin his five year wait for a gold jacket. Rudolph will be the last, first round potential quarterback left and there is no way Belichick lets him slip by. A couple years behind a starting quarterback would do wonders for Mason Rudolph, and who better to sit behind than Tom Brady?
32. Philadelphia Eagles – WR Christian Kirk (Texas A&M)