2018 NFL Mock Draft: Predictions for 1st-Round Prospects After Free Agency Day 1

2018 NFL Mock Draft: Predictions for 1st-Round Prospects After Free Agency Day 1


The NFL free-agency dominoes began to fall on Tuesday as many big names agreed to deals with teams during the league’s legal tampering period.

Free agency always has a big impact on the NFL draft, but it seems to be greater than usual this year given the quarterback position. Numerous veteran signal-callers are about to change cities (or have decided to stay put), while as many as five QBs could be taken in the first round.

Below you can find a new mock as well as notes on how three quarterback moves may sway the draft in late April.


2018 NFL Mock Draft 

1. Cleveland Browns: Penn State RB Saquon Barkley

2. New York Giants: USC QB Sam Darnold

3. Indianapolis Colts: North Carolina EDGE Bradley Chubb

4. Cleveland Browns: Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield

5. Buffalo Bills (proposed trade with Denver Broncos): UCLA QB Josh Rosen

6. New York Jets: Wyoming QB Josh Allen

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Alabama DB Minkah Fitzpatrick

8. Chicago Bears: Notre Dame OG Quenton Nelson

9. San Francisco 49ers: Virginia Tech LB Tremaine Edmunds

10. Oakland Raiders: Georgia LB Roquan Smith

11. Miami Dolphins: Florida State S Derwin James

12. Denver Broncos (proposed trade with Buffalo Bills): Texas OT Connor Williams

13. Washington Redskins: Washington DT Vita Vea

14. Green Bay Packers: Ohio State CB Denzel Ward

15. Arizona Cardinals: Louisville QB Lamar Jackson

16. Baltimore Ravens: Alabama WR Calvin Ridley

17. Los Angeles Chargers: Alabama DT Da’Ron Payne

18. Seattle Seahawks: Notre Dame OT Mike McGlinchey

19. Dallas Cowboys: SMU WR Courtland Sutton

20. Detroit Lions: UTSA EDGE Marcus Davenport

21. Cincinnati Bengals (trade with Buffalo Bills): Alabama LB Rashaan Evans

22. Denver Broncos (proposed trade with Buffalo Bills): Ohio State OG Billy Price

23. Los Angeles Rams: Boston College EDGE Harold Landry

24. Carolina Panthers: Alabama S Ronnie Harrison

25. Tennessee Titans: Michigan DT Maurice Hurst

26. Atlanta Falcons: Florida DT Taven Bryan

27. New Orleans Saints: Texas A&M WR Christian Kirk

28. Pittsburgh Steelers: Boise State LB Leighton Vander Esch

29. Jacksonville Jaguars: Penn State TE Mike Gesicki

30. Minnesota Vikings: Georgia OG Isaiah Wynn

31. New England Patriots: UCF CB Mike Hughes

32. Philadelphia Eagles: LSU RB Derrius Guice


Three Notable Free-Agent Moves and Potential Draft Impact

According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, former Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins plans to sign a three-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings.

Cousins was the hottest player in this year’s free-agent pool and now goes to a team whose Super Bowl window is wide open.

This move left the Denver Broncos, Arizona Cardinals and New York Jets looking for other quarterback options. The Broncos then agreed to a deal with the man who preceded Cousins in Minnesota (Case Keenum) on a two-year contract, per Mike Klis of 9News.

However, James Palmer of NFL Network noted the Keenum signing may not preclude the Broncos from still taking a quarterback with the fifth overall selection:

Furthermore, Klis also noted Broncos brass are making the rounds on a few notable Pro Days:

At this point, Denver has three plausible options. The first is taking a quarterback at No. 5 and having him sit behind Keenum for two years as he develops. The second is staying at No. 5 and picking the best non-quarterback available. The third is trading down with a team in current need of a starter.

Trading up seems highly unlikely given that (a) the Broncos have numerous positions to fill and can’t afford losing more top draft picks and (b) it’s likely a top quarterback will be sitting there at No. 5 anyway if they choose that route.

The evaluation process is obviously still ongoing, but the guess here is Denver eventually trades down with Buffalo for their No. 12 and No. 21 picks as well as additional compensation.

The Broncos can pick up a few extra players (perhaps two offensive linemen, as posited above) to help fill some depth-chart gaps while the Bills can get their quarterback of the future after trading 2017 starter Tyrod Taylor to the Cleveland Browns.

Of course, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Denver take a top quarterback prospect or even a blue-chipper such as Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson, but a Broncos-Bills trade makes sense for both sides.

Elsewhere, the Arizona Cardinals agreed to a one-year deal with former Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford, according to Ian Rapoport and Tiffany Blackmon of NFL Network.

Bradford showed much promise in Week 1 of the 2017 season when he tossed 346 yards and three touchdowns, but a knee injury derailed the rest of his campaign. He’s been up and down during his eight-year career, although dealing with three offensive coordinators in his first three seasons in addition to the injuries hindered him from getting on a consistent track.

With Bradford the assumed 2018 starter, Arizona will likely continue to look for a long-term answer at the position. The Cardinals would need a big trade up to land one of the top four quarterbacks on most big boards (Sam Darnold of USC, Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma, Josh Allen of Wyoming and Josh Rosen of UCLA), but Lamar Jackson of Louisville will likely be available at No. 15.

He’s rated as Chris Simms of Bleacher Report’s No. 1 quarterback and obviously fared well in Louisville, winning the Heisman Trophy in 2016. If the Cardinals like Jackson, then that could be a great fit.

Breaking Sports News

via Bleacher Report – Front Page http://ift.tt/yO6Sgr

March 14, 2018 at 07:52AM


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