We are less than two weeks away from the 2018 NFL Draft! For some die-hard fans, the Draft is just about as exciting as the Super Bowl. We wait for it with the same or even more anticipation. A month ago, I presented you with my first Mock Draft of the year.
However, the NFL changes week after week. Heck, just last Friday the Cowboys cut veteran WR Dez Bryant in the middle of April.
In this edition, four of the top quarterbacks find their NFL teams in the top five picks. There’s one mock trade (and only one) since I didn’t want to exaggerate and some surprises.
I hope you enjoy this one, and as always, let me know your thoughts in the comments section below or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football!
R1/1 – CLE: Sam Darnold, QB, USC
It’s time for the Browns to prove they’re a serious NFL franchise and the first step to do so is actually taking a franchise quarterback with the first overall pick. Sam Darnold and his play-making ability will provide just that for Cleveland.
R1/2 – NYG: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
The Giants will either stay put and take a quarterback or trade their pick for a lot of value. In this mock draft, they take their QB of the future in Josh Rosen and take advantage of a unique opportunity. They won’t be drafting this high anytime soon.
R1/3 – NYJ: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
Mayfield has been underrated by many, mainly because of his height and his “cocky attitude.” But he’s too talented. This guy will prove everyone wrong playing for the Jets. He’ll do an excellent job in the pros. His arm isn’t talked about as much as it should, to be honest.
R1/4 – CLE: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
Taking a running back at 4 may be a questionable call. But it’s worked out for the Jaguars and for the Cowboys lately. Barkley might be an even better prospect. With a rookie QB, adding Barkley would take a lot of pressure off of his shoulders. Barkley is too good to pass on him.
R1/5 – DEN: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
The Broncos added Case Keenum in free agency, but we won’t see the same guy we saw playing in Minnesota a year ago. After the Paxton Lynch pick, Denver will be trying to make up for their mistakes by taking the best arm in the Draft. Allen has a long way to go, but has the potential to become one of the best QBs in the league.
R1/6 – IND: Bradley Chubb, EDGE, NC State
The Colts have an entire roster to rebuild. Switching to a 4-3 defense makes picking the best pass rusher in the Draft a no-brainer at this point. His impact will be felt from Day 1. Chubb heads to Indy, as do the three second-round picks the Colts took from the Jets.
R1/7 – TB: Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
Fitzpatrick is a cornerback in some analysts’ boards and a safety in others. The Bucs need both. One of the best defensive prospects in the Draft is taken by Tampa Bay and will make his presence felt on the field from whichever spot he’s put.
R1/8 – CHI: Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame
If Barkley isn’t the best prospect in the Draft, then it’s Nelson. After adding some weapons for Trubisky via free agency, now they draft a blue chip player to protect him and to give a spark to the running game. Nelson’s talent is ridiculous.
R1/9 – SF: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia
Tremaine Edmunds is a rangy linebacker and with just 19 years of age, he presents a very high upside for the 49ers and a team who doesn’t know what will happen with Reuben Foster. Edmunds’ ceiling is very high and he can become one of the game’s finest in just a matter of time.
R1/10 – BUF: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
(Trade Alert: Raiders trade 10th pick for the Bills’ 12th and 22nd picks)
It might be a little too soon for Lamar Jackson, but it’s a quarterback needy league. With the Dolphins sitting at 11, the Bills pull the trigger on Jackson and find their QB of the future.
R1/11 – MIA: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
The Dolphins may target a QB here, but the top guys are already gone. Roquan Smith is a game-changer on the defense side of things. Miami needs a lot of help in the roster, and the first guy they get is Smith.
R1/12 – OAK: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
(Trade Alert: Bills trade 12th and 22nd pick for the Raiders’ 10th pick)
Denzel Ward is arguably the best cornerback in the class and the Raiders are able to steal him with the 12th pick and still hold another first rounder.
R1/13 – WAS: Derwin James, S, Florida State
Derwin James is easily a top-10 talent but somehow the Redskins steal him at 13 and get a difference maker in the backfield. James doesn’t get past the top 15.
R1/14 – GB: Harold Landry, EDGE, Boston College
Harold Landry could be in the top 10 conversation, but a 2017 injure-plagued season took a hit at his draft stock. Still, he’s one of the best rushers in the Draft and finds his way into the 14th overall pick to Green Bay.
R1/15 – ARI: Mike Hughes, CB, Central Florida
Arizona could be looking for a quarterback, but just like Miami, it’s too late for them in this scenario. I’m higher than most when it comes to Mike Hughes. The Cardinals draft their future starting CB from Central Florida. Hughes will be a very good CB1 in his career.
R1/16 – BAL: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
Calvin Ridley falls all the way to the #16 pick to the Baltimore Ravens. Joe Flacco gets a receiver who is always open on tape. Ridley, despite being 24 years old, will be a great receiver in the NFL. He’s so good.
R1/17 – LAC: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
The Chargers find McGlinchey with the 17th pick and don’t even think about stealing him. I wouldn’t b e surprised if some of the tackles in this draft start going earlier than expected. The Chargers keep adding talent to the OL.
R1/18 – SEA: Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
Josh Jackson at 18 is a steal for the Seahawks. They’re rebuilding their team in unexpected fashion and Josh Jackson could be the foundation for another group of talented cornerbacks in Seattle.
R1/19 – DAL: Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
Before the Cowboys released Dez Bryant, this wasn’t the pick. But Dallas is in a position in which taking a wide receiver in the first two rounds is a must. Courtland Sutton is the pick since he represents the best option to play as an “X” receiver for Dallas. If they’d rather have Hurns play Hurns at “X”, DJ Moore is a name to keep an eye on.
I like this pick for Dallas, let me know what you guys think in the comments section below or shoot me a tweet @PepoR99!
R1/20 – DET: Marcus Davenport, EDGE, UTSA
Marcus Davenport may be raw, but he has all the potential he needs to become a quality DE in the NFL. The Lions have Ezekiel Ansah but can still use another edge rusher in their defense.
R1/21 – CIN: Vita Vea, DT, Washington
The Bengals were probably planning on taking an offensive guard here, but Vea at 21 is a steal. Cincinnati, holding the 46th overall pick may look for offensive line help later in the Draft.
R1/22 – OAK: Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama
After adding Denzel Ward, the Raiders now find a starting linebacker in Rashaan Evans. Evans still needs to work on some things, but should still be taken in the first round.
R1/23 – NE: Connor Williams, OT, Texas
The Patriots lost Nate Solder in free agency and are left with a big hole at tackle. They find Connor Williams late in the first. Williams is a better prospect than much give him credit for.
R1/24 – CAR: Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville
Jaire Alexander’s stock has risen over the past month and for good reason. The Panthers start fixing their CB position by taking him at 24. Alexander will find success in Carolina.
R1/25 – TEN: Isaiah Wynn, OG, Georgia
The Titans find Isaiah Wynn available late in the first and steal the second best guard in the class to keep building a talented offensive line.
R1/26 – ATL: Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
Da’Ron Payne may end up going earlier than expected, but this time he falls to the Falcons who need help in their front seven. Taking Payne here is excellent value.
R1/27 – NO: Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota St.
The Saints may want to get the heir to Drew Brees’ throne here. However, they get Dallas Goedert as a new weapon for #9 in what could be his last season in the gridiron.
R1/28 – PIT: Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State
Leighton Vander Esch at the end of Day 1 makes a ton of sense, especially for the Steelers who will be looking for a linebacker. Vander Esch may not provide an instant impact, but can become an excellent defensive player after being developed for some time.
R1/29 – JAC: DJ Moore, WR, Maryland
The Jaguars need offensive weapons and in this case, it’s DJ Moore. Moore is a receiver with safe soft hands and an excellent route runner. Blake Bortles gets help.
R1/30 – MIN: Will Hernandez, OG, UTEP
The Vikings can go in many different directions here. In this case, they decide to draft Hernandez in order to protect their big free agency investment known as Kirk Cousins. If they find him at 30, it’s a no-brainer.
R1/31 – NE: Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State
Tom Brady is awesome. But no TB12 method will save him from time. It’s time to look for his future replacement and Mason Rudolph could be just that in a couple of years.
R1/32 – PHI: Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
The Eagles will be a very powerful team in 2018 after winning the Super Bowl last season. Taking a RB like Derrius Guice would take their offense to the next level.