2018 NFL Mock Draft
Outside of the start of the season and the bowl games, the 2018 NFL Mock Draft season is the best part of college football. While many look at it as an NFL activity, I do not. I look at it as the final step a player takes in college. I love seeing where my favorite collegiate athletes end up. I also like working like a general manager in doing my NFL mock draft.
When I do my mock drafts, I do my best to do them based off of both the need of the team and what I think the head office will actually do.
We would like to thank our friends at Breaking Football for giving us some love by including us in their mock draft database!
Look at our previous week version of the 2018 NFL Mock Draft here!
I do not want to take too much time with preamble, so lets get to the mock draft!
Pick #1 – Cleveland Browns select Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State University
Incidently, this is the biggest question mark in my opinion, though it really should not be. Reports indicate that John Dorsey is fixated on Wyoming’s Josh Allen, who Dorsey believes to be Carson Wentz reincarnate. Wentz is still alive, for what it is worth.
Personal opinions about this year’s quarterbacks aside, there is a much thinner separation between all of them than between Barkley and the next back. He is a generational talent in what he brings to the game. He is a true three down back, and he profiles out to be better than both Leonard Fournette and Ezekiel Elliott, the darlings at the position over the last two drafts.
Cleveland is likely to still be able to get a quarterback at pick #4, so I do not think they will pass on Barkley here.
Pick #2 – New York Giants select Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
Even though the Giants took Davis Webb in the 2017 draft, he was not an early pick. The new regime will stay in the state of California for their next quarterback pick in Rosen.
It would be hard to believe Rosen going at the top barring a trade based on John Dorsey’s feelings on him. That leaves it open to the Giants to bring him in to be the heir to Eli Manning. Over the last few seasons, Manning looks like a man who has very little left in the tank.
Rosen would likely get one season with Eli to learn from. It would do him well. Rosen has been identified as someone who does not care what he says, and some question his actual passion about the game. He shows enough talent on the field to give him the nod as the #2 pick this year.
Pick #3 – Indianapolis Colts select Bradley Chubb, DE, North Carolina State
If there is any pick that is likely to be traded come draft time, I would imagine this would be it. It is likely, at least, to be the highest traded pick. This could be a year where teams value the quarterbacks similar to the 2011 draft where an insane number were taken in the top 15. The reason is that the draft the year before was so underwhelming ( 2010 – Bradford/Tebow; 2017 – Trubisky/Watson/Mahomes).
If the Colts do keep this pick, it is highly likely that they go defense. A lot of this does depend on the health of Andrew Luck. There are reports out there that his health might be worse than it is being led on. If he is not going to be healthy and the team does not believe in Brissett, that shakes up the draft.
Otherwise, Chubb, who I believe is the top defensive prospect in this draft, should go here. He is highly athletic, and will give the Colts the first defensive playmaker on the defensive side of the ball since I do not remember when.
Pick #4 – Cleveland Browns select Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
The Browns are now being linked to Baker Mayfield, after a strong showing in practices during Senior Bowl week. This now makes two quarterbacks they are directly linked to, and it is foolish to believe that Rosen or Darnold are not in play as well.
What this does cement to me, though, is that it is likely that the Browns will do one of two things with this pick: get the Jets to trade up with them so they can get the next QB over Denver or they use the #1 pick on Barkley and have their pick of whichever quarterback is left.
While I think it is somewhat foolish to write DeShone Kizer off after one season, it is tough to imagine the Browns not taking a QB with either of their first round picks.
Pick #5 – Denver Broncos select Sam Darnold, QB, USC
The Broncos, in my opinion, are just going to end up taking the best quarterback available here. I am not totally sold that they view one as being that much better than the other.
You could certainly argue, though, that Darnold might have the highest upside of any quarterback in this draft. He would be going to a good system with one of the best in John Elway in the head office.
The team could certainly go different directions here, but I think quarterback is going to be the route they go.
Pick #6 – New York Jets select Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
I had a quarterback going to the Jets in a few versions of my mock, and after going with Quenton Nelson last week, I am back to putting a QB at their spot.
Their current situation does not work long term. Josh McCown could have another couple solid seasons, but beyond him they are barren. Christian Hackenberg has been basically the worst QB in the NFL over the time he has been there and Bryce Petty has not been great.
As a result, I think the Jets go after the QB they like the most, which appears to be Allen.
Pick #7 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers select Minkah Fitzpatrick, CB/S, Alabama
I think the Bucs would be very excited if this fell in to their lap. Fitzpatrick is one of the top 2-5 players in this draft from a pure talent standpoint. It just so happens that quarterbacks are more highly valued.
He fits a huge need on a team that honestly has quite a few of them. Things like this happen all the time in the draft, and it would not shock me to see him go here.
Pick #8 – Chicago Bears select Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
The Crimson Tide get back-to-back selections here with Ridley as the first receiver off the board. While I think Courtland Sutton might be a better overall prospect, I will not argue with Ridley’s upside.
He has been one of the cogs of a dominant Alabama team over the last three years, including a National Championship.
This pick does not really need defended, as the Bears receiving unit is likely the worst in all of the NFL. They were without their number one receiver in Cameron Meredith this year, but he has not shown a history of dominance by any stretch. Ridley could come in and immediately give Mitch Trubisky a reliable option to throw to.
Pick #9 – San Francisco 49ers select Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
Nelson was slotted to the Niners in my original mock, but got moved up a bit for a few weeks. Now I am back to believing that the Niners will go after offensive line help.
Assuming that the Niners keep Jimmy Garaoppolo, upgrading the line to keep him standing will be very important. This team could honestly be a fringe playoff contender in 2018 with him.
Nelson and teammate Mike McGlinchey are the top linemen in the draft, and I think this is the best case scenario for the Niners.
Pick #10 – Oakland Raiders select Marcus Davenport, DE/DT, UTSA
There is little question that Davenport has made himself more money during the offseason process thus far. His Senior Bowl week was very strong, despite rumors of being insecure about himself.
Oakland has been vocal about their love for Davenport through this process, and that leads me to believe that, barring something awful at the combine or pro day, that Davenport will be a top ten pick.
Pick #11 – Miami Dolphins select Joshua Jackson, CB, Iowa
The Dolphins were awful defensively and were an easy attack for opposing passing offenses. They will look to correct that early in the draft.
Jackson has become a valued prospect and many believe he has the talent to be a top cornerback for years to come.
I think he will be the first at his position to come off the board.
Pick #12 – Cincinnati Bengals select Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
The Bengals offensive line was awful in 2017. What do you expect when you move on from both Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler, otherwise known as the left side of your line. It stunted the running game, which took about 13 weeks to do anything at all.
McGlinchey is the top tackle prospect in this year’s draft, and I think Cincinnati will realize that Andy Dalton is only tolerable when he has a strong offensive line. This would also go a long way to help Joe Mixon, who they selected in the 2017 edition of the draft.
Pick #13 – Washington Redskins select Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
Over the past few weeks, I have Vita Ve going here, but the rumors are that the Redskins do not have interest in Vea.
I will stick with the theme of defense and send Smith to them. We saw so much out of Smith this year, and I think he is an instant upgrade to the Washington defense.
There is a chance they could go quarterback here, so do not be shocked if this changes in the coming weeks.
Pick #14 – Green Bay Packers select DaRon Payne, DT, Alabama
The Packers have the rare situation of being able to take a higher quality player than normal due to the Aaron Rodgers injury. This lets DaRon Payne land in their lap.
Payne should add nice depth to the Packers front seven, which they need serious help with. The team has been a below average defense for a few years now, and it will be tough for them to make a run at things without some help in that respect.
Payne should be able to check off that box.
Pick #15 – Arizona Cardinals select Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State University
I thought about dropping a quarterback to the Cardinals here, but I am not going to. I think that they will likely be looking to improve their cornerback situation aside from Patrick Peterson.
If you watched them this year, you will know that it was a major problem.
Ward is a stud in the making, and I would fully expect him to improve the Cardinals at the position from day one. He is a much more reasonable pick here than reaching for a quarterback.
Pick #16 – Baltimore Ravens select Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
Mike Wallace has been nice for the Ravens, but he is a situational receiver, a deep threat, and not someone who can be a possession receiver.
Sutton can. In my opinion, Sutton is the best receiver in the draft. He was outshined a bit by Trey Quinn this year, but he was still the top dog on the team.
It is tough to know what to make of Joe Flacco with the Ravens moving forward, but giving him the help of Sutton should make some kind of a difference.
Pick #17 – Los Angeles Chargers select Vita Vea, NT, Washington
I just had Vea going several picks higher, but the Redskins do not appear to be interested. I also had an offensive lineman scheduled to go to the Chargers, but things have changed there as well.
There were some reports from the Senior Bowl that the Chargers are highly likely to use their first round pick on defense. Vea could be a guy they go with and could be a great player on a team that really just does not have a ton of immediate needs.
Pick #18 – Seattle Seahawks select Kolton Miller, OL, UCLA
I am sure there are some here that believe that the Seahawks will go a different route, but we should be real: the offensive line has been a problem for a few years now.
If the Seahawks plan on keeping Russell Wilson healthy and have any hope at a running game, they need to go with an offensive lineman. They need to do it as early as possible.
Miller is a solid hand who should be able to make a difference immediately.
Pick #19 – Dallas Cowboys select Derwin James, S, Florida State
I think it is safe to say that most people do not have James this low or going to the Cowboys. I am not sure it is the highest need, but I do not see Jerry & company passing on the potential that James has.
Dallas has solid safeties, but they are not spectacular. I would go as far to say that James is an upgrade on both. As a result, I do not think this is as much of a stretch.
Dallas still needs help defensively to get to the next level in the playoffs, and I think this is a good start.
Pick #20 – Detroit Lions select Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State
The Lions pass rush is awful. It has been a weakness for a while now, and they need to work hard at getting it situated if they expect this team to move into the playoffs.
Hubbard is a guy who I could see going in the top 15 of this draft pending a strong off-season program. This draft has lost 4 potential first round talents in the last ten days, so that surely opens up the door some high talented players to move up.
There is a lot to like with Hubbard. He has a strong base, good hands and knows how to get to the ball. He really impressed me down the stretch and looked amazing in the bowl game against USC. He would fit in really well with the Lions and he could end up being what gets them to the playoffs next year or not.
Pick #21 – Buffalo Bills select Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
Jackson could end up being the top dog of this draft. Have I said that about a quarterback in the draft yet? That is because I really believe the margin in talent is so thin.
The Bills do not seem to really believe in Tyrod Taylor. Nathan Peterman was a disaster on the field.
Jackson has a better arm and better legs than Taylor, forcing me to believe that this team will look to him in the draft early in 2018.
Pick #22 – Buffalo Bills select Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado
Buffalo will need some help in the offseason to improve a poor defensive backfield. We saw them get picked on quite a bit over the course of the year, so I expect them to try to fix that in the draft.
Oliver is a solid prospect that could end up being a value being chosen where they would be taking him.
Pick #23 – Los Angeles Rams select Carlton Davis, CB, Auburn
Interestingly, this team had just about everything, so I would be about building more reserves for that defense.
I think their cornerback room could use another talent in it. They were exposed at times throughout the year, so adding another high talent could go a long way in making this team a Super Bowl contender in 2018.
Pick #24 – Carolina Panthers select Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M
I know that the Panthers could use some defensive line help, but it is hard to not look at their wild-card round loss and say they do not need another receiver. They got rid of Kelvin Benjamin and decided Devin Funchess was a #1. That is a stretch. Curtis Samuel never got healthy and Kaelin Clay is limited in what he can do.
Kirk is a playmaker that will open things up for the rest of the offense. With he and Christian McCaffrey on the field, Cam will have two high-level playmakers, to go along with Greg Olsen and Devin Funchess in a better role.
I think he is being slept on right now and he is easily one of my favorites in the draft.
Pick #25 – Tennessee Titans select Billy Price, C, Ohio State
I expect huge things from Derrick Henry next year, and a lot of it is because I do think that the Titans will work to improve the interior of their offensive line.
Price, who went to high school less than 5 minutes from where I live, makes a ton of sense from a salary cap perspective. He should be able to both allow the Titans to move on from overpaid assets and give them an improved talent at the position.
Pick #26 – Atlanta Falcons select Harold Landry, OLB, Boston College
The Falcons are actually a team that is pretty well put together, but if nothing else, the team will look to add some more versatile depth to their linebacking room.
Over the course of the year, the Falcons were susceptible to pass catching backs. While Landry will do best coming off the edge, I do think he will be able to drop into coverage and should help the team improve in this area.
Pick #27 – Pittsburgh Steelers select Sony Michel, RB, Georgia
Right now, there is a huge disconnect between LeVeon Bell and the Pittsburgh Steelers. It seems unlikely that the pair remains together after the season.
If that is the case, the Steelers have a huge hole to fill. Yes, they have James Conner, but he is not a dynamic player like Sony Michel. This is a player who could be a monster moving forward with his skill set.
While he will not be Bell day one, he could still make the transition a lot less noticable.
Pick #28 – New Orleans Saints select Arden Key, DT/DE, LSU
More and more I hear rumors about the fall of Arden Key. While I think that the Saints will need to make a move at QB in the future, it might not be here. I have also heard a lot of rumors about the team REALLY liking Taysom Hill. He was one of our favorites when we hosted the podcast before, but it is worth noting he has a ridiculous injury history.
Key falls and lands in the Saints lap. The defense was dramatically improved, but they can use more depth.
Arden Key should be someone that you pay attention to because his drop will result in someone picking up an ultra talented player very low.
Pick #29 – Jacksonville Jaguars select Donte Jackson, CB, LSU
I really want to put a quarterback to the Jaguars here, but I will not. The Jaguars could use a little more depth in the defensive backfield.
Jalen Ramsey is awesome, and A.J. Bouye is very good as well.
Outside of that, they need to have more to bring in.
This team is very close to being a very, very, very scary team, and this is one of those moves that gets them closer.
Pick #30 –Minnesota Vikings select Maurice Hurst, DE/DT, Michigan
The Vikings are tough to read. They could use some cornerback help, mainly outside of Xavier Rhodes. I really could see them going best player available, but otherwise, I like the upside of Hurst.
Linval Joseph was the only highly impressive interior threat for this team, so I think this makes the Vikings an even more dangerous team.
I will be updating this on a weekly basis. I will probably add round two next week and so on and so forth.
Pick #31 – New England Patriots select Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, LB, Oklahoma
Bryce Love goes back to Stanford, so I will give the Patriots some defensive help here. They need it. Even though this defense came on as the year progressed, there were still some pretty clear holes that will need fixed.
Okoronkwo is a bad dude who could really cause some damage in the right system. That is the big question here. We are in one of the most uncertain times of the year, so it is tough to say if Matt Patricia will be back in Foxboro next year. If he is, I think that bodes well for his usefulness.
Pick #32 – Philadelphia Eagles select Orlando Brown, T, Oklahoma
I wanted to draft a running back for the Eagles, because that is what they always do. Just when you think they have their back of the future, they draft (or trade for) another one.
There is a real concern to be had by the Eagles that Lane Johnson will never be back at 100%, if he is back at all. They need to do something in case that happens.