Nick’s Picks: 2018 NFL Mock Draft 3.0

Nick’s Picks: 2018 NFL Mock Draft 3.0

With Super Bowl LII and the 2017 NFL season officially over, we can now focus on the offseason. In this version of Nick’s Picks, we challenge how certain prospects are valued. Who are the top defensive ends? How many corners will go in the first round? Will it be an offensive line-heavy draft? These questions are answered in this week’s picks.

  1. CLE: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming
  2. NYG: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
  3. IND: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
  4. CLE (HOU): Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
  5. DEN: Sam Darnold, QB, USC
  6. NYJ: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
  7. TB: Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State
  8. CHI: Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU
  9. SF: Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
  10. OAK: Calvin RIdley, WR, Alabama
  11. MIA: Derwin James, S, Florida State
  12. CIN: Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma
  13. WAS: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech
  14. GB: Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama
  15. AZ: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
  16. BAL: Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama
  17. LAC: Joshua Jackson, CB, Iowa
  18. SEA: Connor Williams, OT, Texas
  19. DAL: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
  20. DET: Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
  21. BUF: Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama
  22. BUF(KC): Billy Price, C/G, Ohio State
  23. LAR: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
  24. CAR: Arden Key, DE, LSU
  25. TEN: Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan
  26. ATL: Donte Jackson, CB, LSU
  27. NO: Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina
  28. PIT: Carlton Davis, CB, Auburn
  29. JAX: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
  30. MIN: Vita Vea, DT, Washington
  31. NE: Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA
  32. PHI: Justin Reid, S, Stanford

Biggest Takeaways:

Josh Allen goes first to the Browns. Ever since Mel Kiper Jr. mocked this, the football world has ripped him to shreds. While I believe Kiper’s reasoning was terrible, I agree that being a large QB from the mid-west is an important factor. Allen has also been on record saying that he’d love to be the person to change Cleveland’s fortune, which is a good sign.

Wyoming QB Josh Allen.


Lamar Jackson heads to the Big Apple. Lamar Jackson can be a star under the right system, and he seems like a player who should be in a big market, and none is bigger than New York. I think the attention will make him thrive and the Jets could become an exciting team to watch next season with Jackson at QB.

Louisville Cardinals QB Lamar Jackson.

Baker Mayfield falls to the Cardinals. Unlike Jackson, I believe Mayfield needs to be in a smaller market in order to thrive. The Cardinals will be a good fit for him, since veteran leadership from Larry Fitzgerald (assuming he’s playing next season) and the strong supporting cast which includes David Johnson could make this transition an easy one. New Head Coach Steve Wilks has a no nonsense attitude, which is something that Mayfield needs to embrace as a pro.

Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield.

Drew Brees gets a new target in Hayden Hurst. The Coby Fleener experiment didn’t work, and Jimmy Graham is far removed from this offence, so it looks like a new tight end is needed. Hurst is a large target with solid hands. Brees will make a friend in Hurst.

South Carolina TE Hayden Hurst.

The small-school standout Marcus Davenport falls to the Patriots. If any of you watched the Super Bowl, you’d know how non-existent this Patriots pass rush was. Davenport can start immediately and under the mentorship of Bill Belichick, he could become an excellent pass rusher for years to come.

UTSA Defensive End Marcus Davenport.

2018 NFL Mock Draft: Pre-Bowl Edition

2018 NFL Mock Draft: Pre-Bowl Edition

As the NFL and college football seasons come approach their end, information on team needs and draft prospects are becoming more clear, reflected by this mock draft (collaboration between Daniel, Harun, and Jon).

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1. Cleveland Browns: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

Cleveland has been clamoring for a QB, and they get one in “The Rosen One”.

2. San Francisco 49ers: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

Saquon Barkley very well might be the #1 prospect in this class. He is a multi-use player that is a threat to score on any touch and is scheme-versatile. Assuming Carlos Hyde is not retained, Barkley is the pick here.


3. New York Giants: Connor Williams, OT, Texas

The Giants desperately need offensive line help and Connor Williams can be a stud at the tackle position. The Giants will need a quarterback and Lamar Jackson is there, but you have to build an offense before you bring in a young quarterback.


4. Denver Broncos: Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama

The Broncos have an aging defense and have been missing a solid safety. Minkah Fitzpatrick can revitalize this defense and provide a star presence in the defensive backfield for years to come.


5. Indianapolis Colts: Arden Key, EDGE, LSU

The Colts are 2nd last in the league in sacks with 20. The selection of a high ceiling edge rusher in Arden Key significantly boosts a team lacking in pass rushing talent, plugging him in across from Jabaal Sheard. He has the potential to thrive as a double digit sack man for years.


Photo Credit/Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

6. Chicago Bears: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

The Bears have been in desperate need of a receiver and the appear to have a good one in Cameron Meredith, but they are still talent starved on the outside and they need to give their young quarterback Mitchell Trubisky a chance to succeed. Ridley appears to be a good receiver and fits the need here.


7. LA Chargers: Derwin James Jr., S, Florida State

The Chargers add a potential star to a loaded secondary. James is capable of playing many roles in the defense; whether in the box, back deep, or as a nickleback, James can make a big impact.


8. Cincinnati Bengals: Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame

Joe Mixon is a very promising young running back and looks like the long term answer for the Bengals at the position. However, they’ve struggled to fill void at right guard left by Kevin Zeitler. Quenton Nelson is an elite prospect at guard, and can help Cincy by making life easy for Mixon.


Photo Credit/Mark J. Terrill, Associated Press

9. Oakland Raiders: Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas

The Raiders defense has been lacking a solid true linebacker in the middle for years now. Malik Jefferson looks like he could be a stud and with the Raiders in dire need of a linebacker, this is match made in heaven.


10. Arizona Cardinals: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson

Josh Mauro has not played well on the Arizona D-line and Robert Nkemdiche already looks like a huge whiff at 23 years old, not at all living up to his first round draft billing. Christian Wilkins is the anti-Nkemdiche, playing with a nonstop motor.


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11. Cleveland Browns (from Houston Texans): Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Notre Dame

In order for a young QB to succeed in the NFL, it is important that he has all the weapons necessary. Equanimeous St. Brown has a skill set reminiscent of Bengals star A.J. Green. By inserting him into a Browns team with Josh Rosen, Josh Gordon, and Corey Coleman, it allows them to maximize each other’s’ sky-high potential. Gordon and Coleman have also had issues staying on the field, and adding St. Brown gives them leeway if something were to happen.


12. New York Jets: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

Lamar Jackson is the best quarterback in the draft in my opinion and the Jets would be foolish to pass up on him at 12. Josh McCown has been good this year but at age 38 he isn’t the long term solution at QB. With the emergence of Robby Anderson as a good receiver and a decent running back in Bilal Powell, the Jets have the weapons to accommodate Lamar. The Jets have also used McCown as almost an air raid quarterback and this shows that the Jets coaching staff has the ability to change their offensive scheme to fit their quarterback, so given the nuclear weapon that is Lamar Jackson and a young solid defense, this could be a fun team to watch and Jets fans may not have to wait long for success.


13. Washington Redskins: Derrius Guice, RB, LSU

The Redskins need offensive weapons and Guice could be a great RB for them. Kirk Cousins may leave, but whatever QB they have will need some help from a solid running game.


Photo Credit/Jamie Squire, Getty Images

14. Miami Dolphins: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

Roquan Smith has flown up draft boards with his spectacular play. There is great value in an athletic linebacker that can plug gaps, run sideline-to-sideline, and cover at a high level. Kiko Alonso and Lawrence Timmons have been liabilities in the middle of the Dolphins defense. With Raekwon McMillan returning from an injury in 2018, Smith and McMillan would be a stout LB duo for years to come.


15. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Joshua Jackson, CB, Iowa

It’s early, but Josh Jackson is my top rated corner in the class. He has the size necessary for the NFL, good coverage skills, and is an absolute ball-hawk playmaker on the back end. The Bucs have been searching for a playmaker in the secondary and they may have found it here with Josh Jackson.


16. Dallas Cowboys: Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama

The edge rushers for the Cowboys finally look set, with DeMarcus Lawrence due for a massive contract extension, the improvement of Taco Charlton, and Charles Tapper returning from injury in 2018. However, the interior could use a boost and Dallas gets maybe the steal of the draft in Payne.


17. Buffalo Bills: Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama

Depending on what they do with Tyrod Taylor, the Buffalo Bills may be in full rebuild mode. It’s time to capitalize with their load of draft picks. Rashaan Evans gives them a piece to build around on defense. Evans is a pass-rushing menace with a motor that runs wild.


18. Green Bay Packers: Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville

Alexander has struggle with injuries this season, but that doesn’t change that he looks like a stud. Height is a bit of a concern, but Alexander has been a leader and a big-time playmaker for Louisville’s defense which was noticeably worse with him off the field. The Packers have a desolate secondary and have to jump on the opportunity to land a highly talented corner to shore up their defense.


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19. Seattle Seahawks: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame

Despite the heroic play of Russell Wilson, the complete lack of talent and competent play on the offensive line has finally caught up to Seattle. McGlinchey could provide a stalwart at the tackle or guard position for the Seahawks to build around.


20. Detroit Lions: Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama

The Lions go best player available at a position of need. Harrison can come in and immediately make his mark as a versatile safety that impacts the air and ground game. Putting him next to Glover Quin, an elite safety in the NFL, only accelerates his growth.


Photo Credit/Thearon W. Henderson, Getty Images

21. Baltimore Ravens: Bryce Love, RB, Stanford

The Ravens have been missing true weapons on offense for years now and whether or not you think Joe Flacco is good, the Ravens need to build some semblance of offensive talent for whatever quarterback they choose to go with. Love had a good season at Stanford and came in second in Heisman voting. He appears to have the ability to be effective in the run game and the pass game. This is a good fit for Baltimore at 21.


22. Tennessee Titans: Bradley Chubb, EDGE, NC State

The Titans have all the talent they need on offense, they just need to make use of it. Their defense however has played above it’s talent level this season. That being said, this defense desperately needs more talent and Chubb could be a steal at this point in the draft.


23. Buffalo Bills (from Kansas City Chiefs): Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU

Based on their acquisitions of Jordan Matthews and Kelvin Benjamin, the Bills seem quite interested in wide receivers that struggle to separate. Look no further than Courtland Sutton; he uses his big frame and long arms to create space that isn’t there. No matter who is back taking the snaps for Buffalo in 2018, Sutton could be a big time playmaker for them.


24. Atlanta Falcons: Dante Pettis, WR, Washington

Mohamed Sanu has been a decent number 2 for Atlanta, but without any needs that jump off the page for me, Pettis would be a nice playmaker to add to an Atlanta defense that has struggled this season. Pettis has speed to burn, looks very polished, and might be the greatest college punt returner of all time. The Washington product would be a stud for the Falcons.


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25. Jacksonville Jaguars: Harold Landry, EDGE, Boston College

Jacksonville’s defense has been nothing short of incredible this season and has led them to the playoffs. Calais Campbell isn’t getting any younger and the Jags should make sure that their strength stays a strength by adding a defensive stud in Landry.


26. LA Rams: Tarvarus McFadden, CB, Florida State

It is uncertain if the Rams will bring back Trumaine Johnson. They take a similar style of player here in Tarvarus McFadden. McFadden is very talented, and his combination of size, length, and fluidity is hard to ignore.


27. Carolina Panthers: Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson

The Panthers have a complete lack of youth at the defensive end position with their top 3 three being Julius Peppers, Charles Johnson, and Mario Addison, all of which are quite old. Ferrell flashes brilliance coming off the edge and would be a scary addition to an already potent Panthers’ defense.


28. Pittsburgh Steelers: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State

William Gay isn’t any younger, and they should be looking for his replacement. Ward has been excellent this season for the Buckeyes, and could become a top-notch slot corner in the pros.


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29. New England Patriots: Josh Sweat, EDGE, Florida State

Bill Belichick and Matt Patricia get their hands on a freak athlete that needs some refinement. Playing in New England could accelerate Sweat’s development and help him reach his insane ceiling.


30. Minnesota Vikings: Maurice Hurst Jr., DT, Michigan

The sad truth is that Sharrif Floyd’s career has likely seen its end. However, Hurst has flashed shades of Floyd, with his burst, leverage, and array of disengagement moves. The rich get richer, they say.


31. New Orleans Saints: Dre’Mont Jones, DT, Ohio State

The NFC South features some good between-the-tackles runners. With his explosive athleticism, Jones could be extremely disruptive.


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32. Philadelphia Eagles: Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado

The Eagles have yet to see Sidney Jones play and although they have had pretty good play on the outside this season, adding a very talented young corner in Oliver at the end of the first round is a good option for them.

2018 NFL Mock Draft – Week 1 Edition

The 2018 NFL Draft looks like it could be one of the most talented in years. This mock draft is a collaboration between three SFE writers. The order is based on MJ’s 2017 NFL season predictions. Let’s get right to it:


1. New York Jets – Daniel’s Pick: Sam Darnold, QB, USC

I have Sam Darnold as my QB2 in this class. Lamar Jackson is my QB1, but I have a feeling that he won’t be drafted as such. The Jets still get a good QB prospect in Darnold, similar to Jameis Winston with lots of great throws and a few really stupid ones. Darnold does have some mechanical issues but is still a really good prospect.


2. San Francisco 49ers – Harun’s Pick: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

Assuming Kirk Cousins will once again receive a franchise tag from the Washington Redskins, this is the pick. Former Falcons OC Kyle Shanahan takes control of this 49ers offense, a perfect fit for Rosen as it is a creative passing attack that has him get the ball out quickly. Rosen is as polished as it gets at the quarterback position with near flawless footwork, mechanics, and ability to go through progressions. Along with his superb arm talent and accuracy, this could make for a potent offense in the future as the 49ers pair Shanahan with “The Rosen One.”


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3. Chicago Bears – Jon’s Pick: Derwin James, S, Florida State

Despite other more glaring needs for the Bears, they would be wise to select Derwin James based on his overall talent and potential. James is crazy athletic and is skilled in coverage and run stuffing. James honestly looks like a NFL player who is playing for Florida State. If he can stay healthy, the Bears should forget about the fit and take the future Pro-Bowler.


4. Buffalo Bills – Harun’s Pick: Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Alabama

It’s clear the Buffalo Bills are in full tank mode, with a lot of trades being made recently. After sacrificing so much for draft capital, they need to cash in with some young talent. The Bills are left weak at defensive back with Stephon Gilmore’s departure via free agency and Ronald Darby being shipped off to the Eagles. Minkah Fitzpatrick is the ideal safety in the NFL. He is a talented cover man with a combination of size, length, fluidity, and athleticism. Fitzpatrick can line up anywhere in the secondary, whether it be either of the safety spots, outside corner, or the nickel. He is a great defender against the run and can come down and make tackles, or drop back and defend passes with his elite instincts and ball skills. Fitzpatrick would be a great start to the Bills rebuild.


5. Cleveland Browns – Daniel’s Pick: Tarvarus McFadden, CB, Florida State

The Browns have promising young players or established players in most positional groups, but their cornerback tandem needs some serious help, especially after cutting Joe Haden. Tarvarus McFadden has massive potential at the cornerback position and fills a big need for the Browns without compromising value. McFadden is also one of the best prospects available at this spot.


6. LA Rams – Jon’s Pick: Connor Williams, OT, Texas


7. Jacksonville Jaguars – Jon’s Pick: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

Blake Bortles simply isn’t the franchise QB many thought he could be. Quite frankly, if the Jags are picking in the top 10 again this year, Bortles will be the reason why. Josh Allen shares some similarities to Bortles, but he is a far more natural passer. Scouts will drool over his athleticism and arm talent, and Jacksonville needs new blood in its quarterback room.


8. Miami Dolphins – Harun’s Pick: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson

Throughout his entire career in Miami, the Dolphins have failed to pair Ndamukong Suh with another defensive tackle. They can change that here by taking a guy who might be the best prospect in the draft. Clemson likes lining up Christian Wilkins at the 5-tech, but he should preferably play 3-tech in the NFL, where his size, strength, and lateral quickness make him a nightmare to defend. Wilkins is also a very polished player evidenced by good hand usage and low pad level. This pick would give defensive coordinators nightmares.


9. Indianapolis Colts – Daniel’s Pick: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State

The Colts don’t have a lot of help for Andrew Luck on offense right now, and with Conor Williams gone, getting a stud running back is a great fit for the Colts. Barkley could be the best player in the draft and is a complete back with massive potential. Andrew Luck would be thrilled to see this pick come draft time.


10. New Orleans Saints – Daniel’s Pick: Harold Landry, EDGE, Boston College

Harold Landry is an absolute stud and is one of my top prospects in the draft right now. The Saints need massive help on the defensive side of the ball and Landry absolutely provides that. Arden Key was also available here, but I think that Landry fits more as a 4-3 end in the Saints system.


11. Detroit Lions – Jon’s Pick: Arden Key, EDGE, LSU

This was an easy pick. Arden Key is a top-5 talent in this year’s class due to his explosive first step and his ability to get to the quarterback. The Lions would be lucky to get Arden Key on draft night.


12. Washington Redskins – Harun’s Pick: Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama

This has been a need of the Redskins for a while now. Da’Ron Payne is a freak athlete. He might be the strongest player I’ve ever seen. A man that’s 6’2″ and 320 pounds shouldn’t be capable of moving the way he does. Payne doesn’t receive much attention or rack up big numbers as he consistently faces double teams, but teams will notice his immense (pun intended) talent and potential.


13. Cincinnati Bengals – Daniel’s Pick: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame


14. Arizona Cardinals – Harun’s Pick: Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville


15. LA Chargers – Jon’s Pick: Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama


16. Minnesota Vikings – Harun’s Pick: Mitch Hyatt, OT, Clemson

The Vikings are continuing to take steps to improve the offensive line. The draft selections of Pat Elflein and Danny Isidora as well as the release of Alex Boone are huge moves to bolster a very weak unit. Another huge stride would be made by taking a potential franchise Pro Bowl tackle in the 1st round.


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17. Baltimore Ravens – Daniel’s Pick: Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M

The Ravens have been in dire need of a stud receiver since Steve Smith declined. Christian Kirk looks like an Odell Beckham style player and he can provide the number 1 receiver for the Ravens. Kirk can provide a deep threat and a YAC option for the Ravens. Kirk is the playmaker that the Ravens desperately need.


18. Cleveland Browns (from Houston) – Jon’s Pick: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama


19. Philadelphia Eagles – Jon’s Pick: Anthony Averett, CB, Alabama

Even with the recent acquisition of Ronald Darby, the Eagles are thin at cornerback. Anthony Averett is a bit of a reach here, but ultimately he is what the Eagles were hoping to get from Byron Maxwell. Averett’s combination of size, speed, and skill should land him in the first round.


20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Harun’s Pick: Shaun Dion Hamilton, LB, Alabama


21. Denver Broncos – Daniel’s Pick: Derrius Guice, RB, LSU

Guice is a beast of a running back and an absolute steal this late in the draft. The Broncos have been desperately asking for someone to step up and be their running back. They need help for their quarterback and Derrius Guice is great value at this position.


22. Atlanta Falcons – Daniel’s Pick: Dante Pettis, WR, Washington


23. Oakland Raiders – Jon’s Pick: Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas


24. Seattle Seahawks – Harun’s Pick: Martez Ivey, G, Florida


25. New York Giants – Jon’s Pick: Trey Adams, OT, Washington

Ereck Flowers has proven so far to be a liability for the Giant’s offense. It’s time to move on, and Trey Adams should be a solid option at no. 25 overall. Adams is a huge tackle who still his the lateral speed to keep up with edge-rushers at the next level.


26. Buffalo Bills (via Kansas City) – Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Notre Dame

St. Brown would have been the best receiver in last year’s class by a solid margin. His game is very reminiscent of Bengals superstar A.J. Green. St. Brown is a rangy guy at 6’4″ with a long wingspan. He possesses strong hands and is a gifted athlete with a combination of speed, explosiveness, and lateral quickness. EQ is also a very polished route runner. He may have a very difficult time in 2017 with poor QB play, but he is a top-10 talent.


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27. Carolina Panthers – Daniel’s Pick: Deon Cain, WR, Clemson

The Panthers have some talent at receiver, but they need someone who can consistently get open. Deon Cain is a good route runner and also can be a deep threat. This is exactly what the Panthers need in a receiver. Deon Cain can be a consistent option for Cam Newton and be an outlet for Cam Newton’s famous deep throws.


28. Tennessee Titans – Harun’s Pick: Vita Vea, DT, Washington


29. Dallas Cowboys – Daniel’s Pick: Cam Serigne, TE, Wake Forest


30. Pittsburgh Steelers – Jon’s Pick: Dorance Armstrong Jr., EDGE, Kansas


31. Green Bay Packers – Jon’s Pick: Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame


32. New England Patriots – Harun’s Pick: Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson

Way Too Early 2018 NFL Mock Draft

Way Too Early 2018 NFL Mock Draft

Photo Credit: Harry How/Getty Images

Way Too Early 2018 NFL Mock Draft

With over 300 College players watched, my summer scouting has come to an end and my pre-season grades finalized. I thought there would be no better way to mark the end of my summer scouting than producing my first Mock Draft of the 2018 NFL Draft cycle. I have used next year’s Super Bowl odds (with some of my own predictions) to determine the draft order and my own pre-season grades and position rankings to determine the picks.


  1. New York Jets

Team Needs – QB, CB, EDGE, OL

The Pick – Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

The Jets roster is in need of a complete overhaul, selecting Allen gives them a QB to rebuild around. Allen is a tall QB with a big arm and great athleticism. He is what the prototypical NFL QB looks and throws like. His game is very reminiscent of Carson Wentz coming out of college. His decision-making can be erratic at times, but his arm talent and ability to make those tight window NFL throws is what makes him an elite QB prospect. He comes from a pro-style offense and his footwork improved as the season went on. The Jets desperately need to find their Franchise QB and Allen’s elite talent definitely gives them a solid QB to build around in the future.


  1. Cleveland Browns

Team Needs – CB, WR, QB, OL

The Pick – Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn St.

The Browns roster is coming together and with multiple picks in the first few rounds, they can take the best player available at this spot while focusing on filling needs later on. Barkley is the best player in the draft and gives Cleveland a building block on offense while they look for an answer at QB. He is a true all-purpose back who can help in the pass game, as well as shoulder 20+ carries a game. An electric playmaker is exactly what Cleveland need and Barkley’s freakish athletic ability makes him a threat to take it to the house on any play. While the Browns have Isaiah Crowell, who is a nice back, he will be a Free Agent in 2018. Some fans may want to see a quarterback here, but I think the Browns should give Kizer a chance.


  1. Chicago Bears

Team Needs – S, CB, OT, WR

The Pick – Connor Williams, OT, Texas

Mitch Trubisky is the future of the franchise. Protecting him and adding weapons around him must become Chicago’s top priority in the coming years. The Bears need a blind side blocker to keep Trubisky clean. Connor Williams can step right in and transform a teams offensive line. He is an elite offensive tackle prospect with exceptional balance and foot speed in pass protection. Additionally, he has the desired mean streak you want to see from linemen in the run game, playing through the whistle and putting defenders on the ground.


  1. San Francisco 49ers

Team Needs – QB, WR, CB, RB

The Pick – Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

Kyle Shanahan’s tenure in San Francisco will not be truly be judged until he gets himself a quarterback to fit into his trademark offense. Shanahan’s offense requires a signal caller who throws with timing and anticipation. Rosen shows the ability to do both of those things consistently. He is clearly well drilled where footwork and mechanics are concerned. I love how polished Rosen is in many aspects of his game, he comes from a pro-style scheme, has the arm to make every throw and flashes great placement. There are some off-field concerns about him being such an outspoken character, but that isn’t something I am too concerned about at this stage. I think Rosen and Shanahan are a perfect match, the 49ers get their QB of the future to build around.


  1. Jacksonville Jaguars

Team Needs – QB, OT, S, OL

The Pick – Sam Darnold, QB, USC

I think it is apparent by now that Blake Bortles is not the answer in Jacksonville. The Jags need a new QB who can revitalize the team and the fanbase. They have a solid roster, yet they keep turning in disappointing seasons. A young leader at QB is exactly what they need going forward. Darnold is an incredibly impressive young man, playing at a very high level as a Redshirt Freshman. He has all the tools to be a successful NFL QB. He possesses a prototypical frame, a powerful arm, and excellent poise. One thing I often talk about with QBs is the ‘it’ factor. It’s something I saw in Dak, Jameis, Mariota in college and it isn’t a specific skill. Rather, a QB with the ‘it’ factor is one you know you can rely on in any situation, it is a QB who gives you the reassurance that you are never out of the game. It is a culmination of leadership, poise, and confidence in their abilities. The ‘it’ factor is something very present when watching Darnold on film. Watch his games against Washington and Penn State and you will see the ‘it’ factor on display. While he needs to work on his deep accuracy and footwork, I believe Darnold has an incredibly bright future in the league and the Jaguars get themselves a QB who can win them games.


  1. Buffalo Bills

Team Needs – WR, S, EDGE, QB

The Pick – Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Alabama

I think if one of the top 3 QB’s were on the board here they would take one. However, they are not. In which case the Bills add an elite player in this class at a position of need. Fitzpatrick has rare cover ability. He is a fluid enough mover to play corner, nickel or safety in the NFL. He does an excellent job mirroring receivers in man coverage and shows a knack for making plays when the ball is in front of him in zone. Fitzpatrick’s elite cover skills would be a welcome addition to the Bills roster in need of help at DB.


  1. Los Angeles Rams

Team Needs – WR, OT, EDGE, CB

The Pick – Harold Landry, EDGE, Boston College

New Rams Defensive Coordinator Wade Phillips loves to have athletic rushers come off the edge in his one gap, 3-4 defense. Harold Landry is a perfect fit for Wade Phillips system. Landry is the best pure pass rusher in next year’s draft and it was a surprise to many that he returned to school for his senior year. He possesses an explosive first step, has long arms to swat blockers hands off him and shows the ability to really bend around the edge. Not only is he an excellent athlete, but he shows good awareness of blockers body positioning and knows when to give oversetting lineman an inside move. Landry has the potential to be one of the premier sack artists in the NFL. His addition to this defense makes the Rams defensive front very scary.


  1. Cincinnati Bengals

Team Needs – OT, LB, CB, S

The Pick – Derwin James, S, Florida St.

The Bengals have a lot of holes on a roster that was not that long ago a perennial playoff contender. With this pick, they get a real game-changer on defense. James can play either safety position or kick down as a nickel linebacker. He has excellent range in coverage and diagnoses routes well. An instinctive defender who plays the run very well from the safety position, James could be a great playmaker for years to come in Cincy.


  1. Miami Dolphins

Team Needs – CB, LB, G, DL

The Pick – Tavarus McFadden, CB, Florida St.

The Dolphins need a playmaker at corner to transform this defense. The front 7 is coming along nicely and with the pressure they can generate up front, they need a corner who can capitalize on errant passes. McFadden has exceptional ball skills, last year grabbing 8 INTs. He turns his head early and does a great job locating the ball and making a play. He has great length (6’2”) and does a decent job jamming receivers at the line. While he is inconsistent, his ceiling is very high and he could one day lead the league in picks with his elite ball skills.


  1. Baltimore Ravens

Team Needs – WR, OT, OL, RB

The Pick – Derrius Guice, RB, LSU

Guice doesn’t have the biggest frame, but he runs angry. That attitude is something this Ravens offense could really use. He runs with great balance and has the long speed to take plays to the house. Not many backs possess the awareness of cutback lanes Guice shows. He is a brilliant ball carrier and will serve as a major upgrade over the current backs on the Ravens roster. A lot of Ravens fans will want to see a receiver here, but I don’t think there is a receiver worth taking in the first 10 picks in this class.


  1. Los Angeles Chargers

Team Needs – OT, S, DL, OL

The Pick – Vita Vea, DL, Washington

Adding Vea to this D line would make one of the fiercest defensive fronts in football. With Bosa and Ingram coming off the edge and Vea collapsing the pocket from up the middle the Chargers would have a solid foundation to build around on defense. Vea is a massive human being at 6’5”, 346lbs. He shows outstanding quickness for his size, which he combines with phenomenal power to bull rush lineman back to the QB. An excellent run stuffer who is powerful at the point of attack and impossible to move off his spot, he would make an excellent addition to this defense.


  1. Detroit Lions

Team Needs – WR, EDGE, CB,S

The Pick – Arden Key, EDGE, LSU

The Lions were tied for 2nd fewest sacks in the league last season, safe to say an explosive edge rusher will be high on their list of priorities when next off-season comes around. Key is a phenomenal athlete with the quickness off the snap to be a real difference-maker for the Lions. Key uses excellent acceleration, long strides and surprising amounts of bend for a taller edge rusher to apply a constant stream of pressure on the QB. Displays good hand use to swat blockers hands away. A work in progress against the run, as he can get pushed off the line at times but an instant impact pass rusher for a Lions team in desperate need of someone who can put pressure on the QB.


  1. Philadelphia Eagles

Team Needs – WR, OL, CB, TE

The Pick – Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

Alshon Jeffery is only on a 1 year deal for the Eagles, they must find a receiver who can be a long-term number one option for Wentz in the passing game. Ridley is a super smooth route runner and a dangerous runner after the catch. He can make those ‘wow’ catches that excite a fan base and will provide a reliable target for Wentz for years to come.

  1. New Orleans Saints

Team Needs – EDGE, S, WR, QB

The Pick – Tyquan Lewis, EDGE, Ohio State

The Saints need talent on defense. They only managed 30 team sacks last year and outside of Cameron Jordan don’t have anyone who can consistently pressure the QB. Lewis is a great athlete who can win with speed or power on the edge. He has a great dip and rip move and plays with a relentless motor. I believe he’s a decent fit as a DE in the Saints scheme and would be very productive opposite Cameron Jordan.


  1. Washington Redskins

Team Needs – LB, S, QB, CB

The Pick – Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville

Bashaud Breeland struggled last year at corner. Pairing a corner like Alexander with Josh Norman would give the Redskins an impressive group of defensive backs. Norman and Alexander at corner with DJ Swearinger and Sua Cravens at safety are a group that will make it difficult to throw the ball on. Alexander is an exceptional athlete with superb ball skills. He diagnoses quickly and covers ground rapidly to break on the ball. I like his ability to get physical with receivers and think he has huge upside tied to his athleticism and ball skills. Of course, the Redskins may be in the market for a QB this time next year, but for now, I have them going with a corner until we know more about what the QB situation will be.


  1. Minnesota Vikings

Team Needs – WR, OL, DL QB

The Pick – Christian Wilkins, DL, Clemson

Putting Wilkins in as the 3 technique defensive tackle in Minnesota’s 4-3 D would be a great fit. Linval Joseph is an exceptional nose tackle who requires double teaming. This would free up Wilkins to make plays in the backfield. Wilkins is a phenomenal athlete for his size and lined up as an edge rusher for Clemson last year. At 6’4” 310lbs he will find a home along the interior of the defensive line in the NF. With great power and quickness, Wilkins can hold the point of attack against the run and generate some pass rush. The pairing of Linval Joseph and Christian Wilkins could ruin run games and give coordinators nightmares.


  1. Carolina Panthers

Team Needs – OT, WR, CB, S

The Pick – Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame

The Panthers have needed help at OT for years, finally, they address that need with the selection of McGlinchey, a pro-ready tackle from Notre Dame. McGlinchey has great size and bends well at the knees allowing him to play with a strong base and quick feet for a man of his size. Has long arms which he uses to keep pass rushers at bay and shows great hip and leg drive in the run game. He could be an instant impact starter for the Panthers at either tackle position.


  1. Dallas Cowboys

Team Needs – EDGE, OL, S, CB

The Pick – Duke Ejiofor, EDGE, Wake Forrest

I love Ejiofor’s game and he would be a great fit in Dallas’ 4-3 scheme. Ejiofor is an explosive pass rusher who is constantly disrupting game plans. He can really dip when rushing from the edge and does a great job using his hands when rushing the passer. Displays a very well refined spin move which he uses when tackles pay too much respect to his ability to win with speed. Ejiofor could kick inside on passing downs for the Cowboys and form a nice pass rushing duo with Taco Charlton.


  1. Indianapolis Colts

The Pick – Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama

The Colts got their free safety in Malik Hooker last year, but they still need a tone setter at strong safety. Ronnie Harrison is just that. An incredibly instinctive and well schooled defensive back, Harrison does all the little things right. He is a good tackler against the run and has great cover skills for a bigger safety. Plays the ball well in the air and can cover TEs and slot receivers in man. With Malik Hooker and Ronnie Harrison at safety, the Colts would have one of the premier safety tandems in the league.


  1. Cleveland Browns (from Texans)

Team Needs – CB, WR, QB, OL

The Pick – Brian O’Neil, OT, Pitt

Joe Thomas is still performing at a high level, but he is getting older. The Browns need a tackle who can step in and play on the right side of the line while being groomed to replace Thomas at LT. O’Neil is a former tight end who brings rare athleticism to the OL. He plays with excellent balance and foot quickness, while also displaying impressive functional strength. A very mobile blocker, O’Neill excels at the 2nd level. Last year, O’Neill didn’t allow a single sack and proved to be one of the best pass protectors in the country.


  1. Tenessee Titans

Team Needs – S, LB, CB, EDGE

The Pick – Jerome Baker, LB, Ohio State

One of my favourite players in the class will fill a big need for the Titans, who need an LB who can cover well. Baker is one of the best athletes I have ever seen at the LB position, reportedly running the 40 in the 4.3 range at 6’1” 225lbs. He is a good run stuffer who reads quickly and fills his gap with authority. One of the rangiest LB’s you will find with elite sideline to sideline speed. In coverage, he is capable of covering TE’s, receivers or running backs downfield as well as any defensive back and anticipates routes well. The perfect modern LB, he will be a great addition to a solid Titans defense.


  1. Denver Broncos

Team Needs – DL, QB, OL, LB

The Pick – Darron Payne, DL, Alabama

In the Broncos aggressive 3-4 defense, Payne could be a dominant nose tackle. He has excellent power in his base and is strong at the point of attack against the run. He converts this power into good push in the pass game, collapsing the pocket up the middle. While Payne has been somewhat overshadowed by his teammates at Alabama thus far in his career, he will shine next year with Jonathon Allen now in the NFL. He is one of the best run stoppers in the country and will destroy double teams. Payne would sure up the Broncos front and keep LB’s clean in the run game by commanding double teams.


  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Team Needs – S, EDGE, OL, CB

The Pick – Donovan Wilson, S/CB, Texas A&M

The Bucs need some more help along the back end of their defense, a playmaker like Donovan Wilson could be exactly what they need. Wilson is a super versatile DB who can line up wherever the Bucs need him but should start as an in the box safety. He has excellent ball skills and anticipates throwing lanes very well. There aren’t many more physical run defenders at the position than Wilson and he diagnoses run plays very quickly, routinely making plays behind the line of scrimmage.


  1. Seattle Seahawks

Team Needs – OL, DL, WR, CB

The Pick – Braden Smith, OG, Auburn

To say the Seahawks need offensive lineman doesn’t seem to articulate just how much they have struggled upfront the last few seasons. Adding Braden Smith, a versatile, athletic lineman would be a step in the right direction when fixing that line. Smith is my top Guard prospect in the 2018 Draft class and blocks extremely well on the move. He has great length and quick feet for a guard, displaying a very strong punch when engaging. Plays with great leverage and has the versatility to even play some tackle if needed there.


  1. Buffalo Bills (From Kansas City)

Team Needs – WR, EDGE, QB, CB

The Pick – Deondre Francois, QB, Florida St.

It is clear the Bills are looking to rebuild and the new regime may decide they want their own QB to build around. In this case, the Bills wait until their second pick to pull the trigger on one of my favorite QBs in the draft. Francois has athleticism and arm strength in abundance. He is one of the toughest QBs in college football and also shows great mental processing, going through his reads quickly. He comes from a pro-style offense and shows great pocket mobility and footwork. Francois can throw the deep ball well and is accurate to all levels of the field. He has all the tools you look for in a QB to build a franchise around.


  1. Arizona Cardinals

Team Needs – WR, OL, CB, DL

The Pick – Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU

The Cardinals need a true number one receiver for when Larry Fitzgerald calls it a career. In Sutton, they get a player who I feel is a work in progress. He needs to refine his route-running and work on his catching fundamentals to avoid the ball going off his hands so much. However, he has great size (6’4”, 215lbs) and shows good quickness. He can make the spectacular catches but sometimes drops the simpler ones. In Arizona, his big play ability will be put to use early. His ceiling is very high if he can tighten up a few aspects of his game.


  1. Pittsburgh Steelers

Team Needs – S, TE, OL, CB

The Pick – Mark Andrews, TE, Oklahoma

The Steelers’ offense is well-balanced, but they don’t have a big play threat at tight end. Mark Andrews is the best TE in the class and is a true matchup nightmare. He runs routes like a receiver and is too quick for linebackers in coverage. While he isn’t the greatest blocker yet, he can flex out to the slot and cause problems for defenses with his ability as a receiver. Adding such a threat at TE will give the Steelers offense another exciting weapon for Big Ben to find in the passing game.


  1. Atlanta Falcons

Team Needs – OL, CB, TE, S

The Pick – Billy Price, OG, Ohio State

Billy Price is an elite guard prospect and would slide right into the starting lineup for the Falcons. An upgrade at guard is much needed for the Falcons on a roster with few weaknesses. Price plays with excellent leverage and real nastiness in the run game. He will open up some big holes for one of the best backfields in the league. Plays with a strong base and doesn’t give up much ground in pass protection.


  1. Oakland Raiders

Team Needs – DL, EDGE, LB, RB

The Pick – Kylie Fitts, EDGE, Utah

The Raiders ranked dead last in sacks last year and need someone who can get to the QB outside of Khalil Mack. Fitts is one of my favorite edge rushers in the 2018 class. He has a rare combination of first step quickness and power. He shows excellent upfield burst and is a high motor player who will chase plays when they don’t go to his side. Excellent run defender as well who holds the point of attack, stacks and sheds well. This pick would make a lot of sense for a Raiders defense that needs sacks and some help against the run.


  1. New York Giants

Team Needs – OT, LB, RB, OG

The Pick – Azeem Victor, LB, Washington

The Giants have a solid front seven but could use an upgrade at linebacker. Azeem Victor is a perfect fit as a will-backer in the Giants scheme. A quick, rangy linebacker, Victor diagnoses plays quickly and slips blocks well against the run. Not a player who will miss many tackles, Victor shows excellent form in the open field and will deliver punishing hits. Victor has great potential in coverage due to his athleticism and excellent route recognition. This would be a great marriage of need and value for the Giants at this spot in the draft.


  1. Green Bay Packers

Team Needs – LB, CB, DL, OG

The Pick – Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech

The Packers defense could use a big, athletic playmaker in the middle at linebacker. Edmunds would provide them with a great run stuffing presence, who will not be beaten to the edge due to his excellent sideline to sideline range. A superb coverage LB, Edmunds will sure up the middle zones for the Packers against the pass and man up against tight ends and running backs. Edmunds ability to defend the run and pass at a high level will make him a great fit in the middle of the Packers defense.


  1. New England Patriots

Team Needs – RB, OG, DL, EDGE

The Pick – Bradley Chubb, EDGE, NC State

Chubb has an NFL ready frame and would be a great fit as a defensive end in New England’s scheme. Chubb is a very polished pass rusher with excellent hand usage. Can convert speed to power or win with speed and bend on the edge. Belichick loves versatile defensive lineman and Chubb has the frame to kick inside on passing downs to exploit matchups vs. guards.

For more great Draft content be sure to follow me on Instagram @nflontheclock.

2018 NFL Mock Draft – Training Camp

With NFL Training Camps officially underway, it’s time for some early predictions for next year’s draft!

1) New York Jets – QB Sam Darnold, USC

The New York Jets are in full-rebuild mode. Darnold is a young, talented passer who can provide an immediate upgrade over Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty. Scouts will hopefully look past his unorthodox throwing motion and value his arm talent, pocket presence, and leadership. USC’s pro-style offense will make his transition to the NFL smoother than recent QB prospects. Reports have surfaced claiming that Darnold may stay at USC for 2 more years, but for now, he is the pick.

2) Chicago Bears – DT Christian Wilkins, Clemson

Christian Wilkins is a good fit in blanks defense as a versatile and athletic player who can slide to different positions along the defensive line. The Bears are in position to simply take the best player available as their roster lacks overall talent. An explosive first step and immense power will allow the Bears to improve as a unit.

3) San Francisco 49ers – OT Connor Williams, Texas

By this time next year, all indications point to Kirk Cousins leaving D.C. for the Bay Area. If this does in fact happen, the Niners would be wise to invest in a Tackle to keep him upright. Connor Williams has all the tools scouts look for in a franchise tackle. He is strong, athletic, and has great balance. He can have success as a rookie if he cleans up his technique with his feet and hand usage.

4) Cleveland Browns – S Derwin James, FSU 

The Cleveland Browns will continue to add defensive talent with the selection of Derwin James. James is a fluid athlete who has the speed and recognition to track down the football in the air or on the ground. James and 2017 first round pick Jabrill Peppers could make a dynamic duo on the back end of the Brown’s defense.

5) Los Angeles Rams – DL Da’Shawn Hand, Alabama

Alabama’s long line of talented defensive linemen to enter the NFL will continue with Da’Shawn Hand. Hand is a monster of a man, standing at 6’4” and 280 lbs. Hand is extremely powerful at the point of attack and is surprisingly nimble. Pairing Hand with Aaron Donald would make the Ram’s defensive line a force for years to come.


6) Buffalo Bills – CB Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama

The Bills lost CB Stephon Gilmore this off season to the New England Patriots on a megadeal. Ronald Darby is a talented young corner in his own right, but he won’t be able to hold down the fort alone. Enter in Minkah Fitzpatrick, the long Alabama corner. Fitzpatrick was an All-American last season and showed the potential to be a lock down corner in the NFL. Scouts will want him to clean up his technique, but he outplayed this year’s no. 14 overall pick Marlon Humphrey, so the Bills would love to add Fitzpatrick to their secondary.

7) Jacksonville Jaguars – QB Josh Rosen, UCLA

Through three seasons, Blake Bortles has shown an erratic play style that results in plenty of interceptions and inaccurate throws. Although the Jaguars decided to pick up his 5th-year option for the 2018 season, they shouldn’t pass on Josh Rosen. As a former 5 star recruit out of high school, Rosen has lived up to the hype and impressed through 2 seasons at UCLA. Rosen’s throwing mechanics and footwork are top notch, and he consistently makes good throws into tight windows. If his shoulder can return to full health, Rosen should be a top 10 pick and lead the Jags into the future.

8) Detroit Lions – RB Saquon Barkley, Penn State

The Lions sure wish they had selected David Johnson instead of Ameer Abdullah in the 2015 draft. Instead, Detroit has struggled to run the ball the past few seasons as Abdullah and Riddick are ineffective options. Saquon Barkley is the easy solution. Barkley has enough talent to continue the recent trend of a running back going in the top 5. Barkley isn’t a physically elite athlete, but his shiftiness and elusiveness are better than any runner in this year’s class and possibly several prior classes. Barkley can offer the Lions a missing element that they have missed since the days of Barry Sanders.

9) Baltimore Ravens – OT Mitch Hyatt, Clemson

For whatever reason, the Baltimore Ravens allow all of their talented offensive linemen leave in free agency. Kemechu Osemele and Ricky Wagner have been pro bowlers lost to other teams in consecutive offseasons. Clemson’s Mitch Hyatt can step in on day one and play guard or tackle. He displays smooth athleticism and good footwork but may need to add strength to his frame. Nevertheless, the Ravens should prioritize rebuilding the offensive line to protect Joe Flacco.

10) Los Angeles Chargers – QB Josh Allen, Wyoming

Phillip Rivers will be 38 years old by the beginning of the 2018 season. He is no longer a top QB in the league and led the league in interceptions last season. Allen is arguably the most talented of this year’s crop of QBs. Athletic with a rocket arm, he reminds many of a more polished Patrick Mahomes. If he can clean up his mechanics and improve his accuracy, the Chargers will love to let Allen grow along with the team’s young core of offensive weapons.

11) Arizona Cardinals – WR Courtland Sutton, SMU 

Future Hall-of-Famer Larry Fitzgerald’s play is assuredly on the decline and he may even retire after this season. John Brown hasn’t shown enough to give the Cardinals confidence to make him their No. 1 receiver and is better suited to play in the slot. Courtland Sutton boasts impressive size at 6’4’’ and 218 lbs, but he also has great speed and is a fluid athlete. With Sutton, the Cardinals will get a special talent who has the potential to fill to Fitzgerald’s absence in the offense.

12) New Orleans Saints – EDGE Arden Key, Boston College

It should be no surprise that the New Orleans Saints are selecting a defensive player in this mock. Seemingly every year, analysts and fans talk of the Saints’ horrible defense and how to fix it. Remember when Junior Galette was piling up sacks for the Saints? That year, 2013, the New Orleans Saints were a top 5 defense in yards allowed and total points scored. Honestly, the Saints could go anywhere on defense with this pick and get a boost, but LSU’s Arden Key may help the Saint’s defense turn the corner the fastest. Key is lighting quick off the line and creates a ton of QB hurries and sacks. A dynamic pass rusher like Key can fill a huge hole and relieve pressure on the underwhelming secondary.

13) Washington Redskins – QB Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State

Will Kirk Cousins be a Redskin next season? Right now, the answer is clearly no, as he has rejected all offers from the organization. Assuming Cousins is gone, Washington will need to add a passer in the draft or free agency to replace him. With the top 3 Quarterbacks off the board, the Skins go with Mason Rudolph. There is a lot to like about Rudolph, starting with his solid 6’5’’ and 235 lbs frame. He’s coming off a great season with the Cowboys, throwing for over 4,000 yards and 28 touchdowns to a mere 4 interceptions. There are some issues with his mechanics and he comes from an Air Raid scheme that will have scouts worried about his transition into the NFL. Overall, Rudolph is a reach at No. 13 overall, but every team that doesn’t have their franchise Quarterback will make questionable decisions to go get QB who could be the future.

14) Cincinnati Bengals – OT Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame

The Cincinnati Bengals lost their two best offensive linemen this offseason. Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler will be difficult to replace. The Bengals are slotted to start Jake Fischer and Cedric Ogbuehi at their Tackle spots who both played Right Tackle last season and were both benched at times. Enter Mike McGlinchey, a strong Tackle from Notre Dame. He is the best run-blocking tackle in the draft and also excels in pass protection. McGlinchey should be a no-brainer for the Bengals if he is still there at pick 14.

15) Miami Dolphins – CB Zaire Alexander, Louisville

As of now, the Miami Dolphins are scheduled to start Byron Maxwell and Xavien Howard at their cornerback positions. Maxwell’s play does not his high cap number and might be cut after the season. Howard showed promise last season as a rookie, but he would still be the third or fourth corner on most other teams. It’s time for the Dolphins to invest in a first round shutdown corner. Louisville’s Zaire Alexander can provide an immediate upgrade at the position. He is long and super quick, two traits that will separate him from the pack. Alexander makes a lot of sense for Miami as they attempt to rebuild their secondary.

16) Indianapolis Colts – RB Derrius Guice, LSU

How is Frank Gore still in the NFL? It seriously feels like he is 40 years old. In actuality, Gore will be a 35-year-old free agent after the 2017 season and despite his decent production, the Colts will most likely look to move in a new direction. 2016 4th round pick Marlon Mack should see some playing time this upcoming season, but the Colts should invest larger draft capital in their next workhorse back. Derrius Guice has the same mentality as a runner that allowed Gore to have success in the NFL. Guice may not be the most gifted athlete, but he is an amazingly tough runner who refuses to go down without a fight. Guice also has the burst to pull away from defenders on long runs. Guice’s talent should be evident by the LSU coaching staff often giving him the same amount of carries as Leonard Fournette, who was the No. 4 overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft. The Colts can make their offense a more balanced attack with the addition of the dynamic Guice.

17) Carolina Panthers – EDGE Harold Landry, Boston College 

The Panthers are a good enough team to sit back and take the best player available. BC’s Harold Landry may be the most talented player left on the board and also can fill a need in Carolina. The Panthers have a couple studs in their front 7 including linebackers Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis as well as lineman Kawaan Short. The team could use a dangerous outside pass rusher to funnel the running game into the linebackers and ease the pressure on its young secondary. Landry is a long, fluid athlete who is raw in terms of his moves, but has the talent to be special. The Panthers should put Landry on the edge and watch him contribute immediately.

18) Denver Broncos – MLB Malik Jefferson, Texas

The Broncos will have to revamp their defense if they want to get back to the Super Bowl. The losses of LB Danny Trevathan and DL Malik Jackson have shown. Malik Jefferson can fill a void at linebacker next to starter Brandon Marshall. Jefferson compares athletically to last year’s second round pick Jaylon Smith out of Notre Dame. If Jefferson can have similar production as Smith’s breakout season, the Broncos will snatch him up and bring some youth to the defense.

19) Philadelphia Eagles – DE Tyquon Lewis, OSU

The Eagles have a talented front 7 already as it stands, but it can become even more of a strength with the addition of Tyquan Lewis from Ohio State. Lewis is a physical end who is coming off a season where he was named first team all Big Ten Conference and the Defensive Lineman of the Year award in the Conference. Instead of trying to improve the secondary with this pick, Philly may want to make their defensive line an elite group of talent with the selection of Lewis. Slot him in next to the likes of Brandon Graham and Fletcher Cox and this defense could be special.

20) Seattle Seahawks – CB Tarvaris McFadden, FSU

The “Legion of Boom” had not only Richard Sherman but also Brandon Browner, who was arguably a top 20 corner at that time. Since their Super Bowl season and Browner’s exit, The Seahawks have struggled to find a true No. 2 corner next to Sherman that can hold his own. Tarvaris McFadden has the prototypical size at 6’2’m and skills to find success next to Sherman in Seattle’s press bail scheme. Especially with rumors this offseason that Sherman might be on the trading block, McFadden should be the pick for the Hawks here.

21) Tennessee Titans – MLB Jerome Baker, OSU

The Tennessee Titans have the outside appearance of a Super Bowl contender, but their defense likely will hold them back. Cornerback and Linebacker are two likely positions that the Titans will look to add with this pick. With no corners of value on the board, Tennesse should go with Jerome Baker. He was terrific last season for the Buckeyes, finishing as the team’s second leading tackler. Baker has a knack for making big plays in big games. He had a 68-yard pick six against Oklahoma and recorded 15 tackles against Michigan. The Titans should look for Baker to overtake Avery Williams and strengthen the defense.

22) Tampa Bay Buccaneers – EDGE Josh Sweat, FSU

Can you ever have enough pass rushers in the NFL? Last year’s selection of edge rusher Noah Spence proved to be a wise move as he racked up 5.5 sacks in limited work. Adding Josh Sweat to the mix can only improve the pass rush. Sweat was overshadowed this past season by teammate Demarcus Walker, but he is now in the NFL. Sweat should be able to match production with his natural talent this season and be a first round pick.

23) Minnesota Vikings – OT Orlando Brown, Oklahoma

The Vikings’ offensive line struggled last year to protect Sam Bradford and to open up holes for the running backs. The Line has improved a bit this offseason, but the Vikings shouldn’t hesitate to upgrade at Tackle with Orlando Brown. Brown has a massive frame, standing at 6’8” and 345 lbs. He needs to add quickness with his feet, but he has more than enough strength to dominate in the NFL. If Brown can clean up his game, he can come in and be a good starter on the Minnesota line.

24) Dallas Cowboys – DL Dre’Mont Jones, OSU

It seems like the Cowboys’ defensive ends are always suspended, hurt, or just no good. It’s time for Dallas to try again with Dre’Mont Jones out of Ohio State. Jones is big, athletic end who can win with speed or power. He should improve this year with more experience under his belt. Jones is the smart and safe pick for Dallas with this pick.

25) Cleveland Browns (via Houston Texans) – S Marcus Allen, Penn State

The Cleveland defense is coming along surprisingly nice. The front seven has a lot of young talent and some solid vets too. The next order of business should be to improve the secondary. We’ll have to see how Jabrill Peppers does at Safety during his rookie season, but the Browns should want to add another safety anyway. Allen would fit nicely next to Peppers as a ball hawking field general. He also has proven to be a great tackler for the Nittany Lions. The Browns should look to make their defense more well rounded with the selection of Marcus Allen.

26) Buffalo Bills (via Kansas City Chiefs) – WR Deon Cain, Clemson

For whatever reason, the Buffalo Bills declined Sammy Watkins’ 5th-year option for the 2018 season. If they decide to let him walk in free agency, 2017 second rounder Zay Jones will honestly be the only talented wide receiver on the roster. Here, the Bills will test their luck on a different Clemson receiver: Deon Cain. Cain is a 6’1” receiver with elite speed. His route running and hands are great as well. He could easily go higher in the first round, but teams will knock him for some minor off-field concerns. The value is still incredible at 26th overall, so Cain should be the pick for a Buffalo team that is preparing to move on from Sammy Watkins.

27) Green Bay Packers – OG Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame

The Green Bay Packers usually have a strong offensive line to protect the league’s best quarterback Aaron Rodgers. The losses of pro bowler guards T.J. Lang and Josh Sitton in consecutive seasons should make the Packers consider addressing the position in the draft early. Quenton Nelson has the tools and talent to come in and start at guard day 1 for Green Bay. He excels in the passing game, which naturally fits what the Packers want to do on offense. Green Bay should be thrilled if Nelson is still on the board for them come draft night.

28) Atlanta Falcons – WR Calvin Ridley, Alabama 

Taylor Gabriel and Mohammed Sanu are decent players, but Julio Jones is the only true receiving threat to opposing defenses. Bama’s Calvin Ridley can change that for the Falcons. Ridley has started since his Freshman year and has torn up SEC defenses. He is a great route runner and is super elusive in the open field. Ridley could make Atlanta’s offense even more dangerous.

29) Oakland Raiders – MLB Cameron Sutton, USC

The Oakland Raiders defense does not live up to their potent offense. Linebacker play and cornerback play are two big reasons why this defense can’t consistently get stops. Cameron Sutton is the best tackler in college football. He may not be the most athletic player, but he gets the job done very well.

30) Pittsburgh Steelers – CB Denzel Ward, OSU

The Steelers have enough talent to make it to and win the Super Bowl. If they can’t make it happen, the defense will be the first area to blame. Artie Burns is a good cover guy, but behind him, the corners on the Pittsburgh roster are old and not too talented. Denzel Ward may get knocked for his 5’10” frame, but he has great instincts and speed for a corner. He’ll be a great value and need pick here.

31) New England Patriots – S Armani Watts, Texas A&M

The Patriots may trade their first round pick in 2018 because they have proven the last two seasons that they don’t need it. If they keep it though, New England should go with the best player available. Armani Watts is an athletic, physical safety who does well in pass coverage and can come up and make tackles. Watts can instantly be a solid rotational safety for the Pats.

32) New York Giants – OT Martinas Rankin, Mississippi State

Ereck Flowers has been a disappointment for the Big Blue ever since being a top 10 pick in 2015. The Giants haven’t replaced him yet, but one can assume that the Giants will look to improve their left tackle spot soon. Martinas Rankins could be a possible solution. With Rankins, the Giants would basically be taking another project tackle who has all the tools, but not production yet. Even if he doesn’t start, Rankins will provide depth behind a subpar offensive line.