NFL Mock Draft 2018: Updated 1st-Round Predictions After Week 17
The regular season is just about over, which means one thing: For 20 fanbases, it’s mock draft season! Below, we’ll go through my latest mock, breaking down a few of the non-quarterbacks available.
Note: The draft order was created using Tankathon.com, my own predictions for Sunday’s late games and my playoff projections.
1. Cleveland Browns: Sam Darnold, QB, USC
2. New York Giants: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
3. Indianapolis Colts: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
4. Cleveland Browns (from Houston): Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Alabama
5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State
6. Denver Broncos: Connor Williams, OT, Texas
7. New York Jets: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
8. San Francisco 49ers: Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
9. Chicago Bears: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
10. Cincinnati Bengals: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
11. Oakland Raiders: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
12. Miami Dolphins: Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
13. Arizona Cardinals: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
14. Washington: Derwin James, S, Florida State
15. Green Bay Packers: Marcus Davenport, DE/OLB, UTSA
16. Tennessee Titans: Arden Key, DE/OLB, LSU
17. Buffalo Bills: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
18. Detroit Lions: Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
19. Dallas Cowboys: Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama
20. Seattle Seahawks: Harold Landry, DE/OLB, Boston College
21. Los Angeles Chargers: Vita Vea, DT, Washington
22. Baltimore Ravens: Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
23. Atlanta Falcons: James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State
24. Carolina Panthers: Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma
25. Buffalo Bills (from Kansas City): Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State
26. Jacksonville Jaguars: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
27. Los Angeles Rams: Joshua Jackson, CB, Iowa
28. Philadelphia Eagles: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
29. Pittsburgh Steelers: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
30. Minnesota Vikings: Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson
31. New Orleans Saints: Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas
32. New England Patriots: Austin Bryant, DE, Clemson
We broke down the quarterbacks and their potential landing spots in the last mock draft. Let’s focus more on the other positions this time around.
Saquon Barkley should be the first non-quarterback off the board. It’s rare to find a player at any position with essentially no weaknesses. Barkley is an anomaly.
"He’s a five-tool guy," Mississippi State head coach Joe Moorhead told B/R’s Matt Miller. "He can do it all. He has speed, power, can run through you or hurdle over you. You can put him in the slot. He can return kicks. And he’s worked hard to become a great pass protector."
"Smart, humble," Moorehead added. "He’s the rare guy whose humble attitude supersedes his talent."
Feature backs are making a comeback in the NFL.
In 2016, David Johnson was a one-man offense for the Arizona Cardinals. The Dallas Cowboys basically saw their playoff hopes extinguished when Ezekiel Elliott was suspended for six games. Le’Veon Bell continues to be one of the most complete offensive weapons in football. Todd Gurley is a legitimate MVP candidate this season. Leonard Fournette changed Jacksonville’s offense.
Yes, the platoon hasn’t gone completely out of style. Just ask Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara, Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman or, uh, the New England Patriots. But having one player who can contribute in every possible way is so valuable. That’s the upside Barkley provides.
Teams generally overpay for quarterbacks and offensive tackles, but don’t be surprised to see safety Minkah Fitzpatrick and defense end Bradley Chubb off the board in the top five.
Fitzpatrick has the chance to be truly special at the next level.
"He’s not quite on the same level of Jamal Adams when it comes to changing the entire culture of a locker room, but he is just as talented and probably more versatile," an AFC executive told Lance Zierlein of NFL.com.
Versatility at safety continues to be vital as the demands on the position become more nuanced to combat the complex schemes of NFL offenses. Fitzpatrick checks all the boxes.
As Zierlein noted, "Fitzpatrick plays with a tremendous motor. He has the ability to cover the slot, play deep safety, blitz or even help in run support near the line of scrimmage."
Chubb too inspires high praise, including the following from former NFL scout and scouting director Greg Gabriel:
Accumulating 10 sacks and 23 tackles for loss during the regular season, a year after going for 10.5 sacks and 22 tackles for loss, will earn you plenty of plaudits.
And a great shot at being a top-five pick, too.
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December 31, 2017 at 03:51PM