Nick’s Picks: 2018 NFL Draft 9.0 (7 Round Mock Draft)

Nick’s Picks: 2018 NFL Draft 9.0 (7 Round Mock Draft)

Ladies and gentlemen, it is finally here! The 9.0 version of Nick’s Picks, which includes seven rounds and a one sentence explanation for each pick. Let’s get to it!

Round One

1. CLE: Sam Darnold, QB, USC: Cleveland finds their QB for the future.

USC quarterback Sam Darnold about to throw a pass.

2. NYG: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State: Eli Manning still has some left in the tank, but he needs a better supporting cast, so Barkley is the pick.

3. NYJ(IND): Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA: The Jets need a quarterback and Rosen will be able to handle the New York media.

4. CLE(HOU): Bradley Chubb, DE, North Carolina State: The best teams have a multitude of pass rushers, so Chubb should be the pick.

5. DEN: Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame: John Elway won’t fall in love with any of this year’s quarterbacks, so he’ll get a Pro Bowl offensive lineman instead.

6. IND(NYJ): Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech: The Colts are bare at linebacker, and Edmunds is the best available option.

7. TB: Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Alabama: The Bucs get a versatile defender who brings a hard-working attitude.

8. CHI: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia: The Bears need a thumper in the middle of their defense.

9. SF: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State: The 49ers could have an intriguing cornerback duo in Richard Sherman and Denzel Ward.

10. OAK: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame: Donald Penn is old and the right tackle position is in question, so the Raiders get a solid blocker in McGlinchey.

Notre Dame offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey.

11. MIA: Vita Vea, DT, Washington: Ndamukong Suh didn’t live up to his historic contract and he’s now a Ram, and Vea can come in to replace Suh’s void.

12. BUF(CIN): Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming: The Bills need a strong arm quarterback who can play in cold weather, and Allen can be the quarterback for the future.

13. WAS: Derwin James, S, Florida State: Washington gets a dynamic playmaker in their secondary.

14. GB: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama: Jordy Nelson was cut and signed with the Raiders, so getting a young playmaker in Ridley fills that void.

15. AZ: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville: The Cardinals get an electric playmaker in Lamar Jackson.

16. BAL: Will Hernandez, G, UTEP: Marshal Yanda is old and Baltimore’s offensive line is underwhelming.

17. LAC: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma: Mayfield will have a slip in the draft and learn from Philip Rivers.

18. SEA: Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa: Richard Sherman left for San Francisco, which leaves a void at the cornerback position.

19. DAL: Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama: Dallas lacks depth at safety and Harrison is the best at the position.

20. DET: Derrius Guice, RB, LSU: The Lions have been desperate for a running back for the last five years, and Guice is the best available.

LSU running back Derrius Guice celebrating after scoring a touchdown.

21. CIN(BUF): James Daniels, C, Iowa: The Bengals need a center and Daniels is a special talent.

22. BUF: Isaiah Wynn, G, Georgia: The Bills have some holes in their offensive line and Wynn is as versatile as they come.

23. NE(LAR): Harold Landry, DE, Boston College: The Patriots are desperate for a pass rush and Landry is the purest edge rusher in this draft.

24. CAR: Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU: The Panthers need a bona fide number one receiver.

25. TEN: Justin Reid, S, Stanford: The Titans can create their new Legion of Boom with a safety.

26. ATL: Da’Ron Payne: The Falcons are the recipients of Payne slipping in the draft.

27. NO: Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA: Cameron Jordan needs a partner to bend the edge with.

28. PIT: Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State: Big Ben isn’t getting any younger and Rudolph can become a starter in a few years.

29. JAX: Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma: The Jags need to make sure Blake Bortles can stay upright and that Leonard Fournette has adequate blockers for the future.

30. MIN: Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama: Kentrell Brothers is suspended for the first four games for violated the NFL’s PED policy, and having Evans with Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr makes a fantastic young linebacking corps.

Alabama linebacker Rashaan Evans.

31. NE: Brian O’Neill, OT, Pittsburgh: Nate Solder left in free agency to the New York Giants, so Bill Belichick will look to find a new blindside protector for Tom Brady.

32. PHI: Donte Jackson, CB, LSU: The Eagles lost Patrick Robinson to the Saints in free agency and they released Daryl Worley after his arrest, so a new cornerback is needed.

Round Two

33. CLE: Connor Williams, OT, Texas: Future Hall of Famer Joe Thomas retired this offseason, so Williams will be the pick.

34. NYG: Billy Price, C, Ohio State: Weston Richburg left in free agency to the San Francisco 49ers, so the G-Men will look to find a new center.

35. CLE(HOU): Sony Michel, RB, Georgia: Carlos Hyde needs a new versatile back to pair up with and have an Ingram-Kamara type relationship with a receiving back.

36. IND: Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado: Vontae Davis is now a Buffalo Bill and Quincy Wilson isn’t ready to be the number one corner, so Oliver provides some competition.

37. IND(NYJ): Ronald Jones II, RB, USC: Marlon Mack thinks he can be the bell-cow, but he’ll need some competition to make that happen.

38. TB: Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia: Doug Martin is off to Oakland and the Bucs desperately need a premier back.

39. CHI: Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M: The Bears need to ensure Mitchell Trubisky has enough weapons to succeed, and Kirk is a versatile weapon on offense and special teams.

40. DEN: Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State: The Broncos will look at the value of selecting Vander Esch at this position and will want to select him.

Boise State linebacker Leighton Vander Esch.

41. OAK: Mike Hughes, CB, UCF: Sean Smith was released and Gareon Conley is unproven, also, T.J. Carrie left for Cleveland, so Hughes will be the pick.

42. MIA: Arden Key, DE, LSU: The edge rushers in Miami are old and Key has loads of potential.

43. NE(SF): Mark Andrews, TE, Oklahoma: Rob Gronkowski may retire or leave New England, so getting a young tight end should be on the to-do list.

44. WAS: Duke Dawson, CB, Florida: Kendall Fuller was traded to the Chiefs and Washington needs some young corners.

45. GB: Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan: Green Bay will take the risk on Hurst’s medical issues and potentially get a first round talent.

46. CIN: Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA: Cordy Glenn was acquired via trade from the Bills, but their offensive line is still in shambles.

47. AZ: D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland: Larry Fitzgerald is likely done after this season, so the Cardinals will look to find a new number one receiver.

48. LAC: Jessie Bates III, S, Wake Forest: The Chargers likely won’t retain Tre Boston, so Bates will be a younger, more versatile safety for Los Angeles.

49. IND(NYJ via SEA): Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, DE, Oklahoma: The Colts need a new pass rusher for their 4-3 defense, and Okoronkwo is as explosive as they come.

50. DAL: Darius Leonard, LB, South Carolina State: Anthony Hitchens left for Kansas City in free agency, and Sean Lee is injury prone, so Jerry Jones will look to find an athletic linebacker.

South Carolina State linebacker Darius Leonard.

51. DET: Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State: The Lions released Eric Ebron and they need a new red zone threat.

52. BAL: Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina: Maxx Williams hasn’t worked out and Flacco needs a new red zone threat.

53. BUF: Dante Pettis, WR, Washington: The Bills’ receiving corps is a bit shaky and Pettis has offensive and special teams ability.

54. KC: Taven Bryan, DT, Florida: Bennie Logan left to sign with the Tennessee Titans, and Bryan is great value at this part of the draft.

55. CAR: Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State: Greg Olsen will retire soon and Newton still needs someone to be a reliable target.

56. BUF(LAR): Kevin Toliver II, CB, LSU: Second year corner Tre’Davious White will want to pair up with his college partner in Toliver.

57. TEN: Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Notre Dame: The Titans need a new receiver and to not put as much pressure on Corey Davis.

58. ATL: Braden Smith, G, Auburn: The Falcons need some interior offensive line help.

59. SF(NO): D.J. Chark, WR, LSU: Chark can eventually become the number one receiver for the recently paid Jimmy Garoppolo.

60. PIT: Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville: The Steelers need another young corner in the mix, and Alexander is far and away the best at this position.

Louisville cornerback Jaire Alexander picks off a pass against Purdue.

61. JAX: James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State: Both Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns are no longer on the roster, and Washington can become a top option.

62. MIN: Martinas Rankin, OT, Mississippi State: The Vikings need more competition at the tackle position.

63. NE: Luke Falk, QB, Washington State: Tom Brady is likely going to retire sooner rather than later, so they need to find his replacement.

64. CLE(PHI): J.C. Jackson, CB, Maryland: The Browns need to find a number one corner early in this draft.

Round Three

65. BUF(CLE): Frank Ragnow, C, Arkansas: Eric Wood had to retire due to injury concerns, and Ragnow is the best available.

66. NYG: Carlton Davis, CB, Auburn: Eli Apple is on thin ice in New York and Davis provides quality competition at the position.

67. IND: Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas: The Colts need to get multiple linebackers in this draft.

68. HOU: Chukwuma Okorafor, OT, Western Michigan: Duane Brown was traded to the Seahawks and they need a new tackle moving forward.

69. TB: Tyrell Crosby, OT, Oregon: Donovan Smith has been a disappointment and the Bucs need to find a new tackle for Jameis Winston.

70. SF(CHI): Micah Kiser, LB, Virginia: Reuben Foster is in serious legal trouble and they’ll need to find a potential replacement.

Virginia linebacker Micah Kiser.

71. DEN: Harrison Phillips, DT, Stanford: The Broncos need some more depth in their interior defensive line.

72. NYG(TB): Lorenzo Carter, LB, Georgia: The Giants need a new edge rusher who has some coverage ability in Carter.

73. MIA: Shaun Dion Hamilton, LB, Alabama: The Dolphins released Lawrence Timmons, so they’ll need to find a replacement at middle linebacker.

74. SF: Kerryon Johnson, RB, Auburn: The 49ers signed Jerick McKinnon, but he isn’t the feature back, and Johnson has the potential to become that.

75. OAK: Dorance Armstrong, DE, Kansas: Outside of Khalil Mack, the Raiders need new edge rushers.

76. GB: Mark Walton, RB, Miami (FL): There’s no number one running back on the Packers’ roster, and Walton is the best available.

77. CIN: Kurt Benkert, QB, Virginia: Andy Dalton has been a subpar starter and Benkert could give him a run for his money.

78. KC(WAS): Holton Hill, CB, Texas: The Chiefs need a new number one corner now that Marcus Peters is in Los Angeles.

79. AZ: Troy Fumagalli, TE, Wisconsin: The Cardinals need a new tight end to help in the red zone.

80. HOU(SEA): Kalen Ballage, RB, Arizona State: Lamar Miller hasn’t lived up to his contract and Ballage gives competition to both Miller and D’Onta Foreman.

Arizona State running back Kalen Ballage.

81. DAL: Cedrick Wilson, WR, Boise State: Dez Bryant was released and the Cowboys need a new number one receiver.

82. DET: Trenton Thompson, DT, Georgia: Haloti Ngata is now a Philadelphia Eagle and they need some interior pressure on their defensive line.

83. BAL: Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State: The Ravens need speed on their defensive line, and Hubbard is an explosive athlete.

84. LAC: Uchenna Nwosu, LB, USC: The Chargers need more help in their linebacking corps.

85. CAR(BUF): Shaquem Griffin, LB, UCF: The feel-good story of the draft lands with the Carolina Panthers.

86. KC: Sean Welsh, G, Iowa: The Chiefs will look to add more competition in their interior offensive line.

87. LAR: Chad Thomas, DE, Miami (FL): Although the Rams have an amazing interior rushing attack, they need some edge rushers to supplement the double-teams Donald and Suh will receive.

88. CAR: Deshon Elliott, S, Texas: The Panthers need a young safety to replace their older secondary.

89. TEN: Tim Settle, DT, Virginia Tech: The Titans need to find a dominant nose tackle, and Settle is best available.

90. ATL: Cam Serigne, TE, Wake Forest: Austin Hooper isn’t the long-term solution at tight end, and Serigne gives Hooper some competition.

Wake Forest tight end Cam Serigne.

91. NO: Kyle Lauletta, QB, Richmond: Drew Brees isn’t going to be in NOLA for the long-term future, and Lauletta has as much potential as anyone.

92. PIT: Josey Jewell, LB, Iowa: No one knows if Ryan Shazier will ever be what he used to be, and Jewell is a prototypical Steeler.

93. JAX: Jeff Holland, DE, Auburn: The Jaguars should find another edge rusher to get into the mix with their dominant attack.

94. MIN: Auden Tate, WR, Florida State: The Vikings have a solid receiving group, but they need a big body receiver for Kirk Cousins to succeed.

95. NE: Quin Blanding, S, Virginia: The Patriots safety tandem in Devin McCourty and Patrick Chung is getting old and there’s no immediate replacement.

96. BUF(PHI): Marcell Frazier, DE, Missouri: The Bills need another young edge rusher for the future.

97. AZ: Tony Brown, CB, Alabama: Arizona will look to find a new slot corner.

98. HOU: Tarvarus McFadden, CB, Florida State: Houston could look to get a new corner to add some competition.

99. DEN: Anthony Miller, WR, Memphis: Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are old and could use a young, dynamic receiver.

100. CIN: Josh Sweat, DE, Florida State: The Bengals have a nice tandem in edge rushers, but Sweat adds some quality depth and even competition.

Florida State defensive end Josh Sweat.

Round Four

101. GB(CLE): Isaac Yiadom, CB, Boston College: The Packers like long, rangy corners, and Yiadom could compete for starting snaps.

102. TB(NYG): Kemoko Turay, DE, Rutgers: Tampa would benefit from another dynamic edge rusher in Turay.

103. HOU: Mason Cole, C, Michigan: Nick Martin might not be the long-term solution at center, so adding competition is important.

104. IND: Ike Boettger, OT, Iowa: The Colts need more protection for Andrew Luck once and for all.

105. CHI: Terrell Edmunds, S, Virginia Tech: The Bears could look to get more competition at the safety position.

106. DEN: Kameron Kelly, CB, San Diego State: Aqib Talib is now a Los Angeles Ram and Kelly has loads of versatility.

107. NYJ: Geron Christian, OT, Louisville: Whoever is going to be quarterback needs protection.

108. NYG(TB): Deon Cain, WR, Clemson: With Brandon Marshall being released, the Giants need a new receiving threat.

109. WAS(DEN via SF): Duke Ejiofor, DE, Wake Forest: Washington needs some competition at the edge rushing position.

110. OAK: B.J. Hill, DT, North Carolina State: The Raiders need to add another defensive tackle in their average defensive line room.

111. LAR (MIA): Michael Gallup, WR, Colorado State: Jared Goff needs another target to further grow his development.

112. CIN: Dimitri Flowers, FB, Oklahoma: The Bengals will get an offensive weapon and get Joe Mixon’s fullback from his college days.

113. DEN (WAS): Simmie Cobbs Jr., WR, Indiana: Denver should look to get multiple receiving threats in this draft.

114. CLE (GB): Austin Corbett, G, Nevada: The Browns should look to get more depth in their offensive line.

115. CHI (AZ): Royce Freeman, RB, Oregon: The Bears love to nab mid-round running backs and feature them in their offense, and Freeman is this year’s sleeper.

116. DAL: Nathan Shepherd, DT, Fort Hays State: The Cowboys need more players who could potentially start on their defensive line.

117. DET: Fred Warner, LB, BYU: Detroit needs to find another linebacker opposite Jarrad Davis to make their linebacking corps a decent one.

118. BAL: Marcell Ateman, WR, Oklahoma State: The Ravens receiving corps is old and has limited talent, and Ateman could emerge as the number one target.

119. LAC: Desmond Harrison, OT, West Georgia: Keeping Philip Rivers upright must be a priority for the Chargers.

120. SEA: Alex Cappa, OT, Humboldt State: Russell Wilson has been running for his life the last few years, so some offensive line help is necessary.

121. BUF: Kyzir White, S, West Virginia: Buffalo’s safeties need some depth at safety.

122. KC: Deontay Burnett, WR, USC: Ensuring Patrick Mahomes has weapons for the future is vital for the Chiefs’ success.

123. MIA(CLE via CAR): Anthony Averett, CB, Alabama: Averett has the ability to compete for the starting job in Miami.

124. KC(LAR): Ian Thomas, TE, Indiana: Travis Kelce is elite, but injury prone, so finding a solid number two target is important for this offense.

125. TEN: Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego State: Derrick Henry and Dion Lewis should be a nice duo, but Penny acts as a good insurance policy in case of injury.

126. ATL: Tegray Scales, LB, Indiana: The linebacking corps is bare in Atlanta, and Scales has the ability to compete for starting snaps.

127. NO: Jerome Baker, LB, Ohio State: Baker is good value at this stage of the draft and fills a need for the Saints.

128. SF(PIT): Devron Davis, CB, UTSA: The 49ers need multiple corners in order to create competition.

129. JAX: R.J. McIntosh, DT, Miami (FL): Marcell Dareus is getting old and expensive, so finding a cheaper replacement should be on the to do list for the Jags.

130. PHI(MIN): DaeSean Hamilton, WR, Penn State: The Eagles need more depth at receiver and upcoming contracts could make their current players expensive down the road.

131. MIA(PHI via NE): Keke Coutee, WR, Texas Tech: The Dolphins lost their slot receiver in Jarvis Landry, so finding a decent replacement is necessary.

132. PHI: Rasheem Green, DT, USC: Philadelphia has a dominant defensive line, but having quality depth is important for future success.

133. GB: Jack Cichy, LB, Wisconsin: Some quality depth at linebacker is vital for the Packers.

134. AZ: Scott Quessenberry, C, UCLA: Arizona should try to find a starting center in this draft, and Quessenberry has leadership experience and has potential.

135. LAR(NYG): Bo Scarbrough, RB, Alabama: A duo with Todd Gurley and Scarbrough would be a scary site to see.

136. LAR(NE): Zachary Crabtree, OT, Oklahoma State: The Rams need competition at the right tackle position, and Crabtree was almost exclusively a right tackle at Oklahoma State.

137. DAL: Andrew Brown, DE, Virginia: Drafting Brown creates quality competition opposite Demarcus Lawrence.

Round Five

138. GB(CLE): Jordan Lasley, WR, UCLA: The Packers need more depth at the receiver position.

139. NYG: Jason Cabinda, LB, Penn State: The Giants need some more athletic linebackers with the addition of Alec Ogletree.

140. IND: Allen Lazard, WR, Iowa State: Indianapolis will look to find some depth behind T.Y. Hilton, Ryan Grant and Chester Rogers.

141. SEA(HOU): Antonio Callaway, WR, Florida: Callaway has had some off the field issues, but Seattle’s locker room can embrace him and ensure he succeeds.

142. WAS(DEN): Robert Foster, WR, Alabama: Washington needs more receivers to compete with their underwhelming starting group.

143. SF(NYJ): Jamarco Jones, OT, Ohio State: Joe Staley is old and Jones has starting potential.

144. TB: Bryce Bobo, WR, Colorado: Tampa should look to find a slot receiver to compete with Adam Humphries.

145. CHI: Poona Ford, DT, Texas: Ensuring there’s some competition in the defensive line is imperative for the Bears.

146. SEA(OAK): Quenton Meeks, CB, Stanford: Seattle has quickly turned bare at the corner position, so finding some replacements is imperative.

147. NO(MIA): Rashaan Gaulden, CB, Tennessee: The Saints will look to find a physical slot corner.

148. PIT(SF): Brett Toth, OT, Army: Pittsburgh already has an Army offensive tackle in Alejandro Villanueva, so Toth could definitely be an option for the black and gold.

149. DEN(WAS): Nyheim Hines, RB, North Carolina State: C.J. Anderson was released and the Broncos are in need of a receiving back, and Hines fills both of those needs.

150. CLE(GB): Darius Jackson, LB, Jacksonville State: Jackson provides quality depth at linebacker with some upside.

Jacksonville State linebacker Darius Jackson.

151. CIN: Mike McCray, LB, Michigan: Vontaze Burfict is suspended for the first four games for violating the NFL’s PED policy, so finding some quality linebackers is essential.

152. AZ: Greg Senat, OT, Wagner: Long-time right tackle Jared Veldheer was traded to the Broncos this offseason, and Senat is a natural right tackle.

153. DET: Hercules Mata’afa, DE, Washington State: This versatile defender will find his spot with defensive mind Matt Patricia.

154. BAL: Levi Wallace, CB, Alabama: The Ravens will look to get two things with this pick: a depth corner and another Alabama prospect.

155. LAC: Marcus Allen, S, Penn State: The Chargers need multiple young safeties to compete for starting positions.

156. SEA (PHI via SEA): Mike White, QB, Western Kentucky: The Seahawks have reportedly been interested in getting a backup QB.

157. NYJ (DAL): Josh Adams, RB, Notre Dame: Matt Forte retired this offseason, so finding a potential starter in Adams is a priority.

158. CIN (BUF): Marquis Haynes, DE, Mississippi: The Bengals will jump at the potential to nab one of the best prospects at this stage of the draft.

159. OAK (NE via CLE via KC): Akrum Wadley, RB, Iowa: Marshawn Lynch likely won’t be with the team after this upcoming season and Doug Martin isn’t dependable, so finding a running back should be on the to-do list.

160. DEN (LAR): Durham Smythe, TE, Notre Dame: Smythe is one of the top blocking tight ends in the draft, and John Elway will appreciate his versatility.

161. CAR: Kendrick Norton, DT, Miami (FL): Star Lotulelei left in free agency to Buffalo, so finding some depth at defensive tackle is needed.

162. TEN: Tyquan Lewis, DE, Ohio State: Brian Orakpo and Derrick Morgan have peaked and are old, so finding some rotational edge rushers is necessary.

163. WAS (DEN via ATL): Tanner Lee, QB, Nebraska: Alex Smith will only be the answer for a few seasons, so offensive minded coach Jay Gruden will try and find a successor.

164. NO: Tre’Quan Smith, WR, UCF: Willie Snead is now a Raven, so finding some depth at receiver is important.

165. PIT: James Hearns, LB, Louisville: Pittsburgh will look to find some depth at outside linebacker.

166. BUF(JAX): J.K. Scott, P, Alabama: The Bills need a punter for the foreseeable future.

167. MIN: Joseph Noteboom, OT, TCU: Minnesota will look to find depth in their offensive line.

168. SEA(NE): Ja’Von Rolland-Jones, DE, Arkansas State: The Seahawks traded Michael Bennett to the Philadelphia Eagles, and Rolland-Jones is a sack machine.

169. PHI: Brandon Parker, OT, North Carolina A&T: Jason Peters will retire soon and Hal Vaitai is still unproven, so the Eagles could find a hidden gem in Parker.

170. CIN: Jester Weah, WR, Pittsburgh: The Bengals will look to add depth at the receiver position.

171. DAL: Tyrone Crowder, G, Clemson: Dallas is known for adding quality offensive linemen, and Crowder is a sleeper at the guard position.

172. GB: Van Smith, S, Clemson: Damarious Randall was sent off to Cleveland, and finding a safety should be a priority.

173. OAK (DAL): Ola Adeniyi, DE, Toledo: Jon Gruden will look to find some sleepers later in the draft, and Adeniyi has loads of upside.

174. GB: Parry Nickerson CB, Tulane: Nickerson is one of the biggest sleepers in this draft, and Green Bay will jump at the chance to grab him.

Round Six

175. CLE: Darren Carrington II, WR, Utah: Cleveland could look for more depth at receiver in the later rounds of the draft.

176. LAR(NYG): Wyatt Teller, G, Virginia Tech: The guard position in Los Angeles has been subpar, so finding a player like Teller is important.

177. HOU: Derrick Nnadi, DT, Florida State: There’s no definitive starter at defensive tackle, and drafting Nnadi at this stage of the draft is exceptional value.

178. IND: Drew Bailey, DT, Louisville: There’s no number one defensive tackle with the release of Johnathan Hankins, so finding a sleeper like Bailey is imperative.

179. NYJ: Chris Worley, LB, Ohio State: Demario Davis is no longer with the Jets, so finding a potential replacement should be prioritized.

180. TB: Darius Phillips, CB, Western Michigan: Tampa must find some more depth at the corner position.

181. CHI: Nick Nelson, CB, Wisconsin: Nelson will slip in the draft because of an injury he sustained during a visit with the Lions, so Chicago will be the beneficiary of his slip.

182. AZ(DEN): Korey Robertson, WR, Southern Mississippi: Arizona lost a few receivers this offseason, so getting some extra receivers for depth and competition is vital.

183. LAR(MIA): Christian Sam, LB, Arizona State: The Rams need some potential starters at linebacker now that Alec Ogletree is a New York Giant.

184. SF: D.J. Reed, CB, Kansas State: This will be the third corner the 49ers draft, which is still necessary to sustain a competitive roster.

185. OAK: Matthew Thomas, LB, Florida State: Oakland gets solid depth at linebacker with Thomas.

186. GB: Will Clapp, C, LSU: Clapp is a versatile blocker and will work well in Green Bay.

187. BUF(CIN): Jalyn Holmes, DE, Ohio State: Buffalo gets a quality depth player in Holmes.

188. WAS: Brandon Facyson, CB, Virginia Tech: Washington needs to get a few corners to develop in this draft.

189. NO(AZ): Du’Vonta Lampkin, DT, Oklahoma: New Orleans will look to get another quality defensive lineman later in the draft.

190. BAL: Riley Ferguson, QB, Memphis: Joe Flacco might not be the answer long-term, and getting Ferguson in the sixth round is tremendous value.

191. LAC: Chase Edmonds, RB, Fordham: The Chargers will look to find a second running back behind Melvin Gordon.

192. DAL(OAK via SEA): M.J. Stewart, CB, North Carolina: Dallas needs to find some quality corners to work for the nickel role.

193. DAL: Phillip Lindsay, RB, Colorado: Lindsay is a good blocking running back and will fit great behind Ezekiel Elliott.

194. LAR(DET): Jaylen Dunlap, CB, Illinois: The Rams will want some quality corners behind Aqib Talib and Marcus Peters.

195. LAR(BUF): Taylor Stallworth, DT, South Carolina: Behind Aaron Donald and Ndamukong Suh, the Rams need more depth at defensive tackle.

196. KC: Joe Ostman, DE, Central Michigan: Tamba Hali was released and Ostman is a sack artist.

197. CAR: Will Richardson, OT, North Carolina State: Richardson gives great depth to a shaky offensive line room.

198. LAR: Brendan Mahon, G, Penn State: Los Angeles should try and add multiple offensive linemen in this draft.

199. TEN: Jacob Pugh, LB, Florida State: Avery Williamson is now a New York Jet, so finding a decent linebacker is important for the Titans’ defense.

200. ATL: D’Montre Wade, CB, Murray State: Jalen Collins was released and the Falcons need more competition at corner.

Murray State cornerback D'Montre Wade.

201. NO: Greg Stroman, CB, Virginia Tech: The Saints find solid depth at corner in Stroman.

202. TB(PIT via CLE via PIT): Breeland Speaks, DE, Mississippi: Speaks provides good depth and versatility on the defensive line.

203. JAX: Siran Neal, S, Jacksonville State: The safeties in Jacksonville are decent, but old, so finding potential replacements is a need.

204. MIN: Dalton Schultz, TE, Stanford: Schultz is a solid receiver and can compete for starting time.

205. CLE(NE): Deadrin Senat, DT, USF: Danny Shelton was traded to the New England Patriots this offseason, so the Browns will get more defensive line talent through the draft.

206. PHI: Michael Dickson, P, Texas: Longtime Eagles punter Donnie Jones retired following the Super Bowl victory, so getting one of the top punters in college football will be an asset.

207. GB: Leon Jacobs, LB, Wisconsin: The Packers love Wisconsin players, and Jacobs fills a need at depth linebacker.

208. DAL: Chris Jones, CB, Nebraska: Dallas will take the risk on the injury prone Jones, who has loads of potential.

209. MIA(LAR via KC): Nic Shimonek, QB, Texas Tech: Ryan Tannehill may not be the long-term answer, but the Dolphins can’t afford to spend a decent pick on QB.

210. NE (via OAK): Jaylen Samuels, FB, North Carolina State: Bill Belichick loves players from North Carolina State and getting an offensive weapon in Samuels fills a need.

211. HOU: Daniel Carlson, K, Auburn: Houston needs a proven kicker for the future.

212. OAK: K.C. McDermott, OT, Miami (FL): The Raiders lack depth on their offensive line, and McDermott provides upside.

213. MIN: Danny Johnson, CB, Southern: Terence Newman is as old as time and will need to be replaced soon, and Johnson has loads of potential coming from a small school.

214. HOU: Da’Shawn Hand, DE, Alabama: Hand never lived up to his potential, and having hard workers like J.J. Watt and Tyrann Mathieu on this defense will hopefully extract Hand’s potential.

215. BAL: Janarion Grant, WR, Rutgers: Grant has great return ability, which Baltimore is in dire need of.

216. OAK: John Atkins, DT, Georgia: Oakland adds depth to their defensive line with the addition of Atkins.

217. OAK: Will Dissly, TE, Washington: The Raiders released Clive Walford this offseason, and Jon Gruden will try and find a new depth tight end.

218. MIN: Eddy Pineiro, K, Florida: Minnesota will look for an upgrade at kicker.

Round Seven 

219. NE(CLE): Deion Harris, CB, North Dakota: New England will try and get another corner sometime in the draft.

220. PIT(NYG): Richie James, WR, Middle Tennessee State: James provides solid depth at receiver.

221. IND: Justin Lawler, DE, SMU: Adding some edge rusher depth is needed in Indianapolis.  

222. HOU: Jordan Akins, TE, UCF: C.J. Fiedorowicz retired this offseason, and Akins is the best option at tight end.

223. SF(MIA via TB): Armani Watts, S, Texas A&M: Drafting Watts in the seventh round is exceptional value, and John Lynch will jump at the chance to get him.

224. CHI: Cole Madison, G, Washington State: Chicago will look to add some quality offensive line help in the later rounds.

225. MIN(DEN): James Looney, DT, California: Minnesota needs some defensive line depth behind Linval Joseph and Sheldon Richardson.

California defensive tackle James Looney.

226. SEA(NYJ): Nyles Morgan, LB, Notre Dame: Seattle will look to add depth at linebacker, and Morgan will fit into their defense nicely.

227. MIA(SF): Taylor Hearn, G, Clemson: The Dolphins need more competition in their interior offensive line.

228. OAK: Godwin Igwebuike, S, Northwestern: The Raiders lack quality depth at safety.

229. MIA: Adam Breneman, TE, Massachusetts: The Dolphins released Julius Thomas, and Breneman provides some upside.

230. JAX(CIN): Maea Teuhema, G, SE Lousina: The Jags signed Andrew Norwell to a massive contract, but their guard play is subpar besides him.

231. WAS: Josh Frazier, DT, Alabama: Washington lacks a big run stuffer, and Frazier could join former Alabama teammate Jonathan Allen.

232. GB: Jake Wieneke, WR, South Dakota State: Green Bay lacks depth at receiver, at Wieneke provides some upside.

233. KC(AZ): Steven Mitchell, WR, USC: Making sure Patrick Mahomes has a lot of weapons is crucial for his development.

234. CAR(BUF via LAC): Jordan Thomas, CB, Oklahoma: The Panthers are pretty bare at corner, so they’ll try and add some quality pieces.

235. NYJ(SEA): Timon Parris, OT, Stony Brook: New York needs more depth at offensive line, and Parris’ small school pedigree could make him a sleeper.

236. DAL: Jordan Whitehead, S, Pittsburgh: Dallas is bare at safety, so they’ll need to double-dip at this position.

237. DET: Troy Apke, S, Penn State: Detroit will look to beef up their secondary in the later rounds.

238. BAL: Bradley Bozeman, C, Alabama: Ryan Jensen left in free agency, and GM Ozzie Newsome would love to end his final draft with an Alabama product.

239. GB(BUF): John Kelly, RB, Tennessee: This would be an absolute steal, and Green Bay could look to add depth in running back.

240. SF(KC): Justin Jones, DT, North Carolina State: The 49ers’ defensive line is stacked and young, but they need depth, and Jones is the best available.

241. WAS(LAR): Coleman Shelton, C, Washington: Washington needs some competition in the interior offensive line.

242. CAR: Justin Crawford, RB, West Virginia: Christian McCaffrey is about to take the reigns in the running back room, but he needs someone behind him to do the heavy lifting.

243. KC(TEN): Dorian O’Daniel, LB, Clemson: The Chiefs released Derrick Johnson this offseason, and although O’Daniel won’t be Johnson, they’ll need an instinctual linebacker f0r the future.

244. ATL: Toby Weathersby, OT, LSU: Weathersby is a natural right tackle, which the Falcons need for depth.

245. NO: Trey Quinn, QB, SMU: New Orleans needs depth at receiver, and Quinn is an intriguing prospect.

246. PIT: Ito Smith, RB, Southern Mississippi: James Conner is decent, but Smith can compete for playing reps.

247. JAX: Michael Joseph, CB, Dubuque: Aaron Colvin is now a Houston Texan, so Joseph could potentially compete for being a nickel back.

248. SEA(MIN): Lavon Coleman, RB, Washington: Seattle is shaky at running back, so they’ll look to add a running back in Coleman.

249. CIN: Azeem Victor, LB, Washington: Cincinnati will look to add multiple linebackers to replenish their aging roster.

250. PHI(SEA via NE via SEA via PHI): Dane Cruikshank, S, Arizona: Philadelphia could look to add some safety depth in the late part of the draft.

Arizona safety Dane Cruikshank.

251. LAC: Tyler Conklin, TE, Central Michigan: Antonio Gates will likely retire soon, and Hunter Henry isn’t the bona fide number two tight end, so Conklin could give him a run for his money.

252. CIN: Byron Pringle, WR, Kansas State: Pringle is a sleeper talent and could work in Marvin Lewis’ system.

253. CIN: Ade Aruna, DE, Tulane: Aruna is an athletic freak and is great value late in the seventh round.

254. AZ: Sam Jones, G, Arizona State: Jacob Pugh got massively overpaid, but the Cardinals still need some quality depth.

255. TB: Lowell Lotulelei, DT, Utah: Chris Baker is now a Cincinnati Bengal, and Lotulelei has pro pedigree.

256. ATL: Quadree Henderson, WR, Pittsburgh: It’s hard to predict who Mr. Irrelevant will be, but for now, it’s this guy.

Pittsburgh wide receiver Quadree Henderson.

Bold Predictions and Guarantees in the 2018 NFL Draft

Bold Predictions and Guarantees in the 2018 NFL Draft

With mock drafts and draft rumours being released every which way, one thing is for certain: the 2018 NFL Draft is so close you can almost touch it.

Today, we’ll talk about some bold predictions and some guarantees within this 2018 NFL Draft.

Guarantee: There will be no tight ends drafted in the first round. 

Last year’s draft was an enigma. Three tight ends going in the first round is virtually unheard of, so don’t expect that to happen. This year, there’s a group of quality tight ends, but I would not draft any in the first round. The top four tight ends, Hayden Hurst, Mike Gesicki, Mark Andrews and Dallas Goedert will all go in the second round.

South Carolina TE Hayden Hurst.

Bold Prediction: Baker Mayfield falls to the Chargers.

Not many people see this coming, but who saw Johnny Manziel or Aaron Rodgers slipping in the draft? Baker Mayfield has loads of talent, but his character concerns will scare teams to want to invest in him. Mayfield can play behind Philip Rivers, who’s also a fiery, vocal quarterback.

Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield.

Guarantee: Josh Rosen will play in the state of New York (or New Jersey).

I have Rosen going to the Jets, but the Giants could make him the heir to Eli Manning’s throne. A dark horse team to select the UCLA quarterback is the Buffalo Bills, who are apparently interested in him. Nonetheless, Rosen will play in a New York state-based team.

UCLA QB Josh Rosen.

Bold Prediction: Will Hernandez will be a top 16 pick. 

NFL Draft scouts have been raving about Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson since the start of the draft process, but he’s not the only remarkable guard. UTEP guard Will Hernandez is a stout run and pass blocker who is an athletic freak. The Baltimore Ravens, who hold the 16th overall selection, could select Hernandez to build up their interior offensive line.

UTEP guard Will Hernandez.

Guarantee: There will be more safeties drafted in the first round than cornerbacks. 

Wait, what? Cornerbacks have historically came at a premium in the first round, while safeties are an afterthought. This year, however, the safety class is top tier and the cornerback class is lacking in first round talent. Safeties Minkah Fitzpatrick, Derwin James, Ronnie Harrison and Justin Reid will outnumber the cornerbacks. The cornerbacks selected in the first round will be Denzel Ward, Josh Jackson and Donte Jackson, according to my latest mock draft. Could this be the new trend in future NFL Drafts?

Florida State safety Derwin James after a play.

 

Bold Prediction: Mike McGlinchey will be a top 10 pick. 

This year’s offensive tackle class is historically not great, but still better than last year’s class. Last year, Utah offensive tackle Garett Bolles was selected 20th overall by the Broncos, which was the first tackle selected in that draft. McGlinchey is much better than Bolles, and a lot of teams are in need of a tackle. In my mock draft, I have McGlinchey going to the Oakland Raiders with the 10th pick.

Notre Dame offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey.

 

Guarantee: Lamar Jackson will get drafted before Baker Mayfield. 

Wouldn’t this be interesting? If a team selects Jackson, they’ll need to transform their offense around him, but his attitude and willingness to learn is so much greater than Mayfield’s that someone is bound to fall in love with him. I have the Arizona Cardinals selecting Lamar Jackson with the 15th pick.

Louisville QB Lamar Jackson.

Bold Prediction: Six QBs will be selected in the first round. 

Rarely does this happen, but this could be the year it happens. The big four QB names often going in the first round are Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Josh Allen and Baker Mayfield. However, the two wildcards in Lamar Jackson and Mason Rudolph could very well go in the first round as well. Hey, it could happen.

Oklahoma State QB Mason Rudolph.

Nick’s Picks: 2018 NFL Draft 8.0

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.

UCLA QB Josh Rosen.

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.

Florida State safety Derwin James after a play.

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.

Boston College DE Harold Landry.

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.

Colorado CB Isaiah Oliver.

Tune in on April 23 for the seven round mock draft, which is the final version of Nick’s Picks.

First Round Rookie Grades as the Season Comes to a Close

First Round Rookie Grades as the Season Comes to a Close

As we prepare for the 2018 NBA playoffs to get started in the coming weeks, let’s take a look back at the draft and grade what rookies taken in the first round have done so far.

 

 

The 2017 NBA draft board.

Photo Credit/hoopshabit.com

 

 

30. Josh Hart – Los Angeles Lakers

Hart after making a 3.

Photo Credit/lakersnation.com

 

Joining the Lakers after a full career at Villanova, Hart has seen increased minutes as the year has gone on. The 22-year old has showcased above-average rebounding ability for a guard and a solid outside jumper. He’ll continue to share minutes with KCP for the remainder of the season once he returns from his hand injury.

Grade: B-

 

 

29. Derrick White – San Antonio Spurs

White in summer league.

Photo Credit/ralphiereport.com

 

White wasn’t expected to have a huge bench role for the Spurs but he’s been non-existent all season. To spend a first round pick on a 23-year old who’s not ready yet isn’t a win.

Grade: D

 

 

28. Tony Bradley – Utah Jazz

Bradley in a game against a EuroLeague team.

Photo Credit/nba.com

 

Drafted as a project after one year at UNC, Bradley has yet to find barely any floor time in his rookie year. Even with the Rudy Gobert injury, the team favored Ekpe Udoh over Bradley for minutes. He has the potential to be a solid NBA center but needs to improve offensively and get stronger.

Grade: C

 

 

27. Kyle Kuzma – Los Angeles Lakers

Kuzma during a dead ball.

Photo Credit/si.com

 

Kuzma has been almost perfect for the Lakers so far and is a building block for them at the forward position. His outside shooting ability, offensive versatility, and length make him an exciting prospect and could be a 20pt scorer in just a year or two. He’ll contend for ROTY in June.

Grade: A+

 

 

26. Caleb Swanigan – Portland Trail Blazers

Swanigan fighting for the ball with Nikola Jokic.

Photo Credit/oregonlive.com

 

Though he rarely gets minutes, Swanigan was a great pick late in the first, as the Blazers got some much needed help in the frontcourt with his toughness inside and another outside shot. Rebounding is clearly his best attribute, but his 3pt shot has a chance to develop and make him a solid rebounding-stretch 4. The Draymond Green comparisons are fair.

Grade: B-

 

 

25. Anzejs Pasecniks – Orlando Magic

Pasecniks at a Blazers press conference.

Photo Credit/blazersedge.com

 

Pasecniks is already 22 and isn’t expected to make an NBA debut anytime soon. To pass up on a player like Kuzma and opt for a draft and stash with an older player is an awful choice by the Magic front office and is a symbol of the moves the franchise has made and continues to make that hinder their chances of being successful again.

Grade: F

 

 

24. Tyler Lydon – Denver Nuggets

Lydon in a rookie photo shoot.

Photo Credit/denverstiffs.com

 

Lydon has been a disappointment for a Nuggets organization with an already deep frontcourt that doesn’t have many minutes for the rookie. The Syracuse product has found himself in the G-League much more than on the Denver roster so far.

Grade: D-

 

 

23. O.G. Anunoby – Toronto Raptors

Anunoby going to the basket.

Photo Credit/espn.com

 

Anunoby was a clear steal for Toronto. The rookie swingman has shown an ability to knock down threes at a solid rate and displayed defensive versatility with his unbelievable length. He’s being compared to All-Star players at the moment and is the clear future for Toronto at the 3.

Grade: B+

 

 

22. Jarrett Allen – Brooklyn Nets

Allen passing the ball.

Photo Credit/newsday.com

 

Allen looks to be another steal as he’s putting up All-Rookie type numbers while still only logging around 20 minutes per game. With the dealing of Tyler Zeller to the Bucks before the deadline, Allen holds the reigns as big man of the future for Brooklyn.

Grade: A

 

 

21. Terrance Ferguson – Oklahoma City Thunder

Ferguson against the Lakers.

Photo Credit/basketusa.com

 

With the season ending injury to Andre Roberson, that would seem to open up some more minutes for Ferguson. He’s an explosive athlete with an improving jumpshot but he’s raw and needs to get stronger to ever be a starter for OKC. Ultimately, the Thunder are trying to compete now while they have Anthony and George, and Ferguson isn’t ready to produce yet.

Grade: D+

 

 

20. Harry Giles – Sacramento Kings

Giles in a rookie photo shoot.

Photo Credit/dukebasketballreport.com

 

After being highly touted coming out of high school, Giles was a disappointment at Duke and still is one with the Kings. He has massive upside but has been ruled out for the season with lingering knee problems.

Grade: C-

 

 

19. John Collins – Atlanta Hawks

Collins during a dead ball.

Photo Credit/peachtreehoops.com

 

Collins may be the biggest steal of the draft as he’s stepped in and already become one of the Hawks best players. His length, athleticism, and nose for the ball down low will turn him into a double-double big man with an All-Star future.

Grade: A+

 

 

18. T.J. Leaf – Indiana Pacers

Leaf dribbling up the court.

Photo Credit/hoopshabit.com

 

In limited minutes, Leaf has produced pretty well but still needs to develop more to see sufficient playing time in the Pacer frontcourt. Given some of the talents Indiana passed up on here, this isn’t a win.

Grade: C

 

 

17. D.J. Wilson – Milwaukee Bucks

Wilson backing down Patterson.

Photo Credit/nba.com

 

Wilson was a reach for the Bucks at 17. His length and versatility make him worth holding onto but he won’t be ready to make any impact for Milwaukee for a while.

Grade: D+

 

 

16. Justin Patton – Minnesota Timberwolves

Patton in a team photo shoot.

Photo Credit/nba.com

 

Patton has been another disappointment as he’s been thrown in and out of the G-League so far this year. He has great size and potential but after some injury issues early on, he hasn’t established himself at all yet.

Grade: D-

 

 

15. Justin Jackson – Sacramento Kings

Jackson driving to the rim.

Photo Credit/sacbee.com

 

There’s still a chance for Jackson to be the forward of the future for the Kings, but he’s been a little inefficient in his first year. He’s had steady production on the wing in limited minutes and should see increases in all his numbers as Sacramento plans to start sitting veterans more as the season goes on and into next year.

Grade: C+

 

 

14. Bam Adebayo – Miami Heat

Adebayo boxing out Mahinmi.

Photo Credit/allucanheat.com

 

Adebayo has been great for Miami so far, complimenting Whiteside well in the frontcourt. In just around 20 minutes a game, Adebayo is making a case to be considered for the All-Rookie 1st team. Given that the Heat passed on fellow big man John Collins here, it wasn’t a perfect pick.

Grade: A-

 

 

13. Donovan Mitchell – Utah Jazz

Michell running up the court.

Photo Credit/si.com

 

Mitchell is currently one of the frontrunners for ROTY, leading the Jazz in scoring and keeping them on the fringe of playoff contention. After losing Gordon Hayward in the offseason, Utah knew they needed to find their new star and they’ve taken care of that quickly as Mitchell has a chance to put up over 20 a game in his first season with the Jazz.

Grade: A+

 

 

12. Luke Kennard – Detroit Pistons

Kennard driving to the basket against Toronto.

Photo Credit/espn.com

 

Coming out of Duke, Kennard has been a reliable outside shooting option for Detroit as expected, but isn’t set to be the star that Mitchell is. Imagining Donovan Mitchell on a Pistons team with Blake Griffin and Andre Drummond would be a possible home court playoff spot for Detroit. Kennard is an NBA level player and could start at shooting guard for the Pistons a few years down the road but given who Detroit missed out on, it’s a disappointment.

Grade: C+

 

 

11. Malik Monk – Charlotte Hornets

Monk dribbling the ball up the floor.

Photo Credit/nba.com

 

When the Hornets were on the clock with this pick, Monk seemed like the obvious choice, but the Kentucky product has been a massive disappointment for Charlotte. He’s been inefficient and sore in the Hornet backcourt. His rough start has led to him being underutilized, and Monk is a guy who needs the ball in his hands to excel. Again, Mitchell would have been the better choice at shooting guard here.

Grade: D

 

 

10. Zach Collins – Portland Trail Blazers

Collins during a dead ball.

Photo Credit/blazersedge.com

 

Despite playing on little minutes, Collins has been solid so far with Portland and looks like a future starter for the Blazers. Getting stronger to go with his long frame and possibly developing a better jumpshot should be the next steps in turning him into a star.

Grade: B+

 

 

9. Dennis Smith Jr. – Dallas Mavericks

Smith Jr. handling the ball.

Photo Credit/hoopshype.com

 

Though still fairly inefficient, Smith Jr. has been great for Dallas and is surely their point guard for the future. His athleticism and scoring ability will turn him into a star. When he improves his shot selection and playmaking ability he’ll be a perennial All-Star.

Grade: A

 

 

8. Frank Nitilikina – New York Knicks

Nitilikina during a dead ball.

Photo Credit/hoopshabit.com

 

Though Nitilikina has faced some tough criticism so far this season over not being as complete of a rookie guard as Smith Jr. or Mitchell, he’s shown some promise in his first year. Despite not getting starters minutes, the 19-year old Frenchman has displayed solid playmaking ability and has shot the 3 as well as most expected. Where he seperates himself from some of the other guards in the draft is his defensive potential. At 6’5″ with a 7-foot wingspan, Nitilikina can make several All-Defensive teams in his career.

Grade: B

 

 

7. Lauri Markannen – Chicago Bulls

Markkanen during warm-ups.

Photo Credit/sbnation.com

 

In the Jimmy Butler trade, the Bulls were able to move up into the top 10 and grab Markkanen, who’s put himself into outside ROTY contention in Chicago. The Finnish big man is putting up solid numbers while stroking it from the outside at an acceptable rookie rate. His size, combined with his somewhat guard skills could make him an All-Star soon.

Grade: A

 

 

6. Jonathan Isaac – Orlando Magic

Isaac pump faking under the rim.

Photo Credit/basketballinsiders.com

 

Isaac has had a quiet first year in Orlando after being drafted sixth overall by the new Orlando front office. The Bronx native has dealt with a few injury hiccups and has even spent some time in the G-League lately. At his length and athleticism, potential still reigns as the number one attribute for Isaac. More minutes and a stronger body should get him into double digits in scoring next year.

Grade: B-

 

 

5. De’Aaron Fox – Sacramento Kings

Fox dribbling up the court.

Photo Credit/nba.com

 

Fox started the year coming off the bench for veteran G George Hill, but with the deadline trade of Hill to Cleveland, Fox is now running the Point in Sacramento. In a guard heavy draft, Fox went to a Kings team thirsting for a youthful PG and he seems to already be settling in as their most promising young player. Despite low numbers on the boards and a struggling outside shot, Fox has showcased All-Star potential and strong leadership for Sacramento.

Grade: B+

 

 

4. Josh Jackson – Phoenix Suns

Jackson driving to the rim.

Photo Credit/nbcsports.com

 

After a fairly slow offensive start to the season, Jackson has since picked it up and been better than expected in his rookie year in Phoenix. While putting up over 10 points a game and rebounding at a fair rate, the Kansas product has played stingy D all year and should be an All-Defensive selection someday. Continuing to work on his jumper in the offseason will further develop him into a two-way star.

Grade: A-

 

 

3. Jayson Tatum – Boston Celtics

Tatum dunking in a game.

Photo Credit/masslive.com

 

Danny Ainge made a great move last June to move down and still take the most polished player in the top 10. Tatum has been lights out from deep all year, shooting over 40% consistently throughout the year, near league’s best from beyond the arc. His length and versatility on offense made him a solid replacement for Gordon Hayward who went down on opening night. Tatum should make a smooth transition to the 4 next year when Hayward returns.

Grade: A+

 

 

2. Lonzo Ball – Los Angeles Lakers

Lonzo Ball during a dead ball.

Photo Credit/latimes.com

 

As expected, Los Angeles took Lonzo Ball with the second overall pick and have gotten nearly exactly what they expected, an inefficient scorer with an innate ability to see the floor on offense, and length on defense. Ball has dealt with a few injury spells this season but has been out there for the Lakers most of the year. While his shooting has been a dry spot in his game, Lonzo has given the Lakers a future at point guard and a special passer, putting up around 7 assists a game. He’ll never lead the league in scoring but Ball has All-Star potential and could be a starter on a championship team in the Lakers future.

Grade: A-

 

 

1. Markelle Fultz – Philadelphia 76ers

Fultz driving to the basket.

Photo Credit/philly.com

 

Fultz, the number one pick in the 2017 draft, has seen almost no court time all season. His nagging elbow injury hasn’t just kept him off the court but also completely transformed his jumpshot and has forced him to pretty much re-learn to shoot the basketball. If he’s able to get healthy he has the potential to be a top guard in the league and would add to the budding young stars in Philadelphia, but Fultz may not even return this year and it’s uncertain how he’ll fair adjusting to a different jumper while learning the NBA.

Grade: Incomplete

 

 

 

How Jimmy Butler Injury Affects Western Conference:

 

Chicago Bears Offseason Prediction

Photo: Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire

After another sub .500 season for one of the most historic franchises in football, the Chicago Bears rebuild will reach yet another off-season with a numerous amount of questions and needs on all sides of the football.

This offseason may be the biggest one for the Chicago Bears in recent memory. After nine seasons of Jay Cutler under center, the Bears finally committed to a young quarterback who they gave up a lot to get in the 2017 draft at number two in Mitchell Trubisky. Mitchell had a decent rookie campaign, throwing for 2,193 yards, 7 touchdowns, 7 interceptions and a 77.5% quarterback rating in 12 games started. However, it is hard to judge a player who had no help at the wide receiver position, an injured offensive line, and predictable play calling by former offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains (who is now with the Miami Dolphins).

 

What We Know:

Three years after the hiring of Ryan Pace and John Fox, the John Fox era has come to an end in Chicago. Fox was praised for his previous head coaching stints in Carolina, where he was the head coach from 2002 to 2010 and brought the Panthers to Super Bowl 38( a year after going 7-9) and ultimately fell to the New England Patriots, and the Denver Broncos, where he was the head coach from 2011 to 2014 where he won four straight NFC West titles and made it to Super Bowl  48 where they were beaten by the Seattle Seahawks. Some analysts and Bears fans believed that John Fox would lead the franchise, who had not made the playoffs since 2010, back to the promise land but that was not how it unfolded. The Bears went 6-10 in 2015, 3-13 in 2016 and finished the 2017 season with a 5-11 record, leading to Ryan Pace firing Fox on Black Monday.

Ryan Pace was given the chance to bring in his guy for the first time in his general manager career and decided to go with former Kansas City Chiefs quality control coach and offensive coordinator Matt Nagy. Nagy took over the play calling duty’s after Kansas City lost five of six after starting the season 5-0. Under Nagy, the Chiefs compiled a 4-1 record and averaged a little over 28 points a game.  Coach Nagy confirmed he would run a spread style offense and call the play himself.  Vic Fangio will remain a part of the coaching staff in Chicago after taking over as defensive coordinator in 2015 and building the Bears defense up from being one of the oldest and worst defenses, to the sixth ranked defense in the NFL following the 2017 season.

Highly regarded Offensive Line Coach Hary Hiestand was named the new offensive line coach. Former Oregon Ducks head coach Mark Helfrich was named offensive coordinator and former Browns special teams coach Chris Tabor will take on that position with the Bears.

 

Free Agency:

According to Over the Cap, the Chicago Bears are projected to have 50.2 million dollars in cap space, this including the 12.9 million dollar projected cap hit from the Kyle Fuller transition tag.

2018 Bears Free Agents:

Prince Amukamara (CB)

Zach Miller (TE)

Dontrelle Inman (WR)

Kyle Fuller (CB)  – Transition Tag *

Mark Sanchez (QB) *

Kendall Wright (WR)

Tom Compton   (T)

Christian Jones  (ILB) *

Bryce Callahan (CB) *

Sherrick McManis (CB) *

Mitch Unrein     (DE)

Mike Nugent      (K)

Lamarr Houston (OLB)

Sam Acho (OLB) *

Benny Cunningham (RB) *

John Jenkins      (DE)

Bradley Sowell  (LT)

Cairo Santos (K) *

Pat O’Donnell (P) *

*denotes players I expect to return

 

Potential Cap Casualties:

1 )QB  Mike Glennon-

Now that Trubisky is the clear cut starter, it is a no brainer that cutting Glennon and clearing his 11.5 million dollar salary is a no brainer. *Will be released at start of league year*

2) RT Bobbie Massie

The Bears picked up Massie two years ago and has been nothing more than league average during his tenure in Chicago. With a decent offensive line class and a few notable o-line free agents available this year, the Bears could find an upgrade and save 5.6 million by releasing him

3)  CB Marcus Copper

The Bears thought they found a potential diamond in the rough last offseason, with the high hopes of him being one of their starting corners for now and the future. He was nothing close to that. Injury problems and mistakes were an issue for Copper to go with a 4.5 million dollar cap hit, Marcus may not be under contract with Chicago for much longer.

4) WR Markus Wheaton

Wheaton signed last offseason with the Bears after a few decent years with the Steelers. Bears had high hopes but like Copper, could not stay on the field and when he did play, he did not produce at all and had a ton of dropped passes. Expect the Bears to cut Wheaton and save the 5 million dollars.

5) OLB Willie Young

Young was a solid player for the Bears when he was healthy. The former Lion missed most of last season with a torn triceps and at the age of 33 and the Bears possibly trying to get younger at the position, he may be a casualty due to his age and 4.5-million-dollar cap hit. *Released on February 28, 2018

 

Potential Free Agent Targets:

1) WR Allen Robinson

Robinson was the go to guy for Blake Bortles for the past four seasons and was a very productive player. He had a monster 2015 season where he piled up 80 catches, 1,400 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns, which is a Jaguars franchise record. He declined during the 2016 season not reaching the thousand-yard mark and catching only six touchdowns. His 2017 season came to an end week one when he tore his ACL after a seventeen-yard reception. Robinson has an extremely high ceiling if he could stay healthy, but it is unknown if Robinson will ever get back to form coming off a major leg injury. Robinson is the type of player a lot of teams would take a chance on and expect the Bears to be one of them.

2) WR Albert Wilson

The former undrafted free agent out of Georgia State was a solid player during his tenure in Kansas City. He had a decent 2017 campaign, where he compiled 554 yards on 42 catches for 3 touchdowns. Though he is not great at anything as a wide receiver, he has above average speed and big hands and could be utilized on both offense and special teams. Wilson with a more major role in a offense may be a breakout player and be a reliable option for Trubisky, who is accurate for the most part on short and medium passes. A reunion with Matt Nagy in Chicago is reasonable and expected.

 

3) OL Nate Solder

With the release of Josh Sitton and with the possibility of Ryan Pace not wanting to commit a ton of salary to an offensive lineman, Nate Solder is in the second tear of offensive line players. Solder is without a doubt the best offensive linemen the Patriots have had over the past couple of seasons.  Pro Football Focus rates Solder as a high quality run and pass blocker and with the Bears need at offensive line, Solder would slide in well at one of the tackle positions.

4) CB Patrick Robinson

Robinson has had an up and down career up until this season where he had a breakout year with the Eagles. The former 32nd pick in the 2010 draft finished the 2017 season with 45 tackles and 4 interceptions helping the Eagles win their first Super Bowl in franchise history. At the age of 30, Robinson may be a late bloomer. If the Bears are unable to resign Kyle Fuller or let Prince Amukamara walk, the Bears may be interested in the veteran.

5)  LB Zach Brown

Zach Brown is an above average line backer when healthy. After being traded from the Titans to the Bills, he had a breakout 2016 where he had 149 tackles and 4 sacks. He was then traded to Washington where he only played in 12 games and amassed 127 tackles and 2.5 sacks. Brown possess the ability to play in space and come up against the run, making him a fit in the Bears 3-4 defense.  Being only 28 years old, it is safe to say he is in the prime of his career and will get a three to five-year contract somewhere. With the release of Jerrell Freeman and Willie Young, expect the Bears to check in on the inside linebacker.

 

Potential First Round Targets:

– Calvin Ridley

– Quinton Nelson

– Minkah Fitzpatrick

– Denzel Ward

– Tremaine Edmunds

– Marcus Davenport

-Josh Jackson

 

My prediction:

With the Bears having questions at many key positions on both sides of the ball, there are multiple ways the Bears can go in the draft. I believe if the Bears are keen to pick at eight rather than trade the pick, it is expected for both Minkah Fitzpatrick and Quinton Nelson to be off the board. Assuming that either the Jets or Broncos sign Kirk Cousins, a player such as Denzel Ward or Tremaine Edmunds may be taken. Tampa may also be looking at linebacker. We have seen in recent years that you can find solid wide receivers late in the draft and with Calvin Ridley not having that great of a combine, there is a possibility that Chicago passes up on wide receiver at eight. With that being said, I believe that the Chicago Bears will select Tremaine Edmunds out of Virginia Tech. If the Bears do trade back with a team like Miami or Arizona, look for the Bears to be interested in cornerback Josh Jackson out of Iowa and defensive end Marcus Davenport from UCLA

* Look out for the Bears to potentially trade the 8th overall pick in the draft to a acquire more draft currency *

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).

Photo Credit/www.tucson.com

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.

 

Photo Credit/www.uhnd.com

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.

 

Photo Credit/www.ndinsider.com

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.

 

Photo Credit/www.orlandosentinel.com

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.

 

Photo Credit/www.orlandosentinel.com

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.

 

Photo Credit/Justin Edmonds, Getty Images

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.

Top 6 NBA Rookie of the Year Candidates Post-Summer League

Top 6 NBA Rookie of the Year Candidates Post-Summer League

At the NBA Summer League, some rookies took the opportunity to shine. After our first look at the upcoming rookie class, here are my top Rookie of the Year candidates.
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