The 2018 NFL Draft is almost here and everyone’s mock is becoming finalized. With so little time left, the rumours are coming in and it’s up to the fans on how to interpret them. With that being said, let’s jump into the 8.0 version of Nick’s Picks.
1. CLE: Sam Darnold, QB, USC: I don’t buy these Josh Allen smokescreens. Darnold is the runaway number one pick.
2. NYG: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State: I’ve really struggled with this pick, but Giants GM Dave Gettleman said that if you’re picking this high, it better be a Hall of Famer. Barkley is the pick.
3. NYJ(IND): Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA: The Jets breathe a sigh of relief that they get their guy. Rosen can handle the Big Apple and will fortify the struggling New York Jets.
4. CLE(HOU): Bradley Chubb, DE, North Carolina State: Do you know what the good teams do in this league? They stockpile talent. Yes, they have Garrett, but you need to rush the passer on both sides, so Chubb goes to The Land.
5. DEN: Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame: This is a coin-flip, but I think the Broncos are invested in Case Keenum. So, to help him succeed, GM John Elway will give him an outstanding guard in Nelson.
6. IND(NYJ): Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech: The linebackers in this draft are very top-heavy, so GM Chris Ballard will try and nab a solid linebacker in Edmunds with their first round pick.
7. TB: Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama: Tampa needs some versatility in their secondary. Fitzpatrick is a lock at this pick.
8. CHI: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia: I’m sure the Bears would like to select Edmunds, but Smith personifies the Chicago Bears better. Plus, he can join his former teammate Leonard Floyd on this ascending defense.
9. SF: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State: Richard Sherman will likely be the first cornerback on the depth chart, but Ward will become probably the best pairing Sherman’s ever had at the second corner position.
10. OAK: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame: Donald Penn is solid, but old. Their right tackle position is shaky, so selecting McGlinchey will be an important one as Jon Gruden’s first pick in a decade.
11. MIA: Vita Vea, DT, Washington: Ndamukong Suh was a cap casualty and is off to Los Angeles, so Vea could be his replacement. Vea is bigger than Suh and can play both as a 4-3 defensive tackle and as a nose tackle.
12. BUF(CIN): Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming: I’m not sold on Allen, but Buffalo will fall in love with his size and ability to throw in the wind.
13. WAS: Derwin James, S, Florida State: Washington can’t pass up on James at this pick, since this is the best prospect at this point in the draft. Also, it fills a need.
14. GB: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama: Jordy Nelson was released and is now an Oakland Raider, and Randall Cobb and Davante Adams are good, but not elite. Ridley can solidify himself as a number one or two option for Aaron Rodgers.
15. AZ: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville: Lamar over Baker? I believe Mayfield will have a Manziel-esque slide in the draft, but not too far. Also, Jackson can reinvigorate this offense and learn some fundamental passing skills from Sam Bradford.
16. BAL: Will Hernandez, G, UTEP: I don’t see many people having this, but trust me, teams like Hernandez more than you think. Marshal Yanda is old and their interior offensive line is now in shambles with Ryan Jensen going to Tampa Bay.
17. LAC: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma: I think the Chargers is the best fit for Mayfield. Rivers is getting old and can be a good mentor for a fiery Mayfield. This could be an interesting Favre-Rodgers scenario.
18. SEA: Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa: Richard Sherman is now with the division-rival San Francisco 49ers, so they’ll need a number one corner. Jackson is Seattle’s best option at this point in the draft.
19. DAL: Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama: The Cowboys are in desperate need for a safety, and Harrison just screams “America’s Team.” The draft is in Dallas this year, so it’s important to make a big splash.
20. DET: Derrius Guice, RB, LSU: The Lions need a running game for the first time in forever. Guice is their best available option.
21. CIN(BUF): James Daniels, C, Iowa: The Bengals’ offensive line is in shambles, but I think if they add a few linemen, the Bengals can have a decent 2018 campaign.
22. BUF: Isaiah Wynn, G, Georgia: The Bills had a solid offensive line last year, but they lost Eric Wood to retirement, Richie Incognito to retirement, but then asking for his release to play again, and Cordy Glenn to a trade with the Bengals. Wynn is versatile and can be a starter day one.
23. NE(LAR): Harold Landry, DE, Boston College: New England needs a pass rusher, since they essentially lost the Super Bowl because of a lack of pass rush. The Pats select Landry so they can grow some homegrown talent.
24. CAR: Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU: If you look at the Carolina Panthers receiving corps, you’ll realize how scarce they are. Sutton can become Newton’s number one receiver and develop some chemistry.
25. TEN: Justin Reid, S, Stanford: I’ve had this mocked for a while and I’m locking this in. The Titans will want to create a new Legion of Boom and to compete with the solid receiving corps in the AFC South.
26. ATL: Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama: The Falcons have few needs and will be the beneficiary of Payne slipping in the draft. With Dontari Poe off to Carolina, they’ll need to replace him.
27. NO: Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA: This is a bit of a slide, but Davenport isn’t very polished but has good size and strength. Cam Jordan and Davenport can become a lethal pass rushing duo.
28. PIT: Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State: Six quarterbacks in the first round? It could happen. Although Rudolph needs work, Roethlisberger can mentor him and once Big Ben finally retires, Rudolph can become the starter.
29. JAX: Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma: Brown had a terrible combine, but the tape doesn’t lie: this guy can play. Cam Robinson played decent last season, but the right tackle position is weary and Brown could be a plug-in-play in Duval County.
30. MIN: Donte Jackson, CB, LSU: Trae Waynes has been a bust and the Vikings need a corner opposite Xavier Rhodes. Jackson is athletic and can be a bona fide number two corner.
31. NE: Brian O’Neill, OT, Pittsburgh: Nate Solder has left for the Giants, and they need a starting left tackle to keep Tom Brady upright. O’Neill is athletic and versatile, which Belichick loves in his players.
32. PHI: Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado: Patrick Robinson left for New Orleans and Daryl Worley was released following an arrest. Oliver can compete for starting snaps and can make this a competitive position on the roster.
Tune in on April 23 for the seven round mock draft, which is the final version of Nick’s Picks.