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.

Nick’s Picks: 2018 NFL Mock Draft 7.0

Nick’s Picks: 2018 NFL Mock Draft 7.0

Ladies and gentlemen, we are officially less than one month away from the NFL Draft. With that being said, let’s get into the 7.0 version of Nick’s Picks. Note: trades are not predicted in this mock draft.

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Nick’s Picks: 2018 NFL Mock Draft 6.0

Nick’s Picks: 2018 NFL Mock Draft 6.0

The 2018 NFL Draft is quickly approaching, and teams are making moves to better situate themselves for success. The Jets and Colts swapped first round picks, which shakes up this entire draft. Also, what are the Browns going to do? How about the Giants? Who will the Jets land at three? Let’s see how it all shakes out in the 6.0 version of Nick’s Picks. 

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Nick’s Pick’s: 2018 NFL Mock Draft 5.0

Nick’s Pick’s: 2018 NFL Mock Draft 5.0

After the combine, certain prospects are starting to match up with different teams. The rumour mill is churning out stories about certain prospects interviewing with teams. As promised, I’m giving my explanation for each draft pick. With that said, let’s get into the 5.0 of Nick’s Picks. 

  1. CLE: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State: I know, I know, people won’t agree with this. However, I think the Browns like Josh Allen the most out of all the quarterbacks. They also know that Darnold and/or Rosen would likely not be there at four if they skip on a QB. So, the Browns will take a running back because they know Josh Allen won’t go in the top three.
  2. NYG: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA: The New York Giants are one of the best NFL franchises in the league. Rarely do they have a pick this high in the draft, so they must get their QB for life after Eli Manning. Josh Rosen is a polished QB who can learn from Manning and maybe heal some of the injuries he sustained in his last year at UCLA.
  3. IND: Minkah Fitzpatrick, CB, Alabama: The Colts will hope to get Barkley, but they’ll have to settle for the number two option. They have Malik Hooker, so they’ll put Fitzpatrick at the cornerback position. With this pick, they’ll have an electric secondary with Hooker, Fitzpatrick and cornerback Quincy Wilson.
  4. CLE(HOU): Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming: The Browns are kicking themselves for not sticking with their pick in 2016 and drafting Carson Wentz. To some, Josh Allen is the closest thing to Wentz since 2016. The Browns will love to have both Allen and Barkley for the upcoming season and for years to come.
  5. DEN: Sam Darnold, QB, USC: I don’t think GM John Elway will expect to have the opportunity to select Darnold at five, but I believe that this is where Darnold will end up regardless. He’s far better than Paxton Lynch and Trevor Siemian, and he’ll be able to start early on.
  6. NYJ: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville: Many wouldn’t have this, but the Jets do not have a set in stone offense and they have the ability to tailor Jackson’s skill set. With Matt Forte retired, they need someone who can throw and run as well. Bilal Powell can be a nice compliment to Jackson’s game, but they’ll likely get someone later in the draft.
  7. TB: Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame: NFL GMs are salivating over the potential Quenton Nelson has. Tampa Bay needs to solidify the offensive line in order to make Jameis Winston and the rest of the offense’s life easier.
  8. CHI: Bradley Chubb, DE, North Carolina State: The Bears have lots of needs, but they need a dominant edge rusher opposite Leonard Floyd.
  9. SF: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama: Jimmy Garoppolo just got paid, so they need to help him transition to the next few years with a firm number one receiver.
  10. OAK: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech: The Raiders want to be tough again, and that starts on the defensive side of the ball. Jon Gruden wants people who are tough and athletic, which is exactly what Tremaine Edmunds is.
  11. MIA: Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU: With Jarvis Landry likely leaving South Beach, the Dolphins will need a number one receiver. Sutton is an impressive physical specimen who is a bona fide number one receiver.
  12. CIN: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame: It’s hard to figure out which tackle should go first, but NFL execs love McGlinchey’s lunchpail mentality. The Bengals offense needs to focus on providing adequate protection for Andy Dalton and the rest of the offense.
  13. WAS: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State: Josh Norman has been a decent corner with Washington, but he’s getting older and Bashaud Breeland may be on the move. With Kendall Fuller going to Kansas City, the corner position must be addressed.
  14. GB: Joshua Jackson, CB, Iowa: The Packers need to better improve their cornerback position. Second year corner Kevin King wasn’t great in his first year, and it never hurts to have more than one good corner.
  15. AZ: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma: With Carson Palmer retired, the Cardinals need to invest in their future with the best available quarterback. Mayfield will be in a smaller market, so the distractions won’t be much of an issue for him.
  16. BAL: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia: The Ravens need to address the receiving position, however, having Roquan Smith is too good a deal to pass up.
  17. LAC: Derwin James, S, Florida State: This could be the steal of the draft. The safety position needs to be addressed in L.A., and James is a phenomenal talent.
  18. SEA: Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma: Yes, Brown isn’t athletic. But damn, he gets the job done. He’s a wall on the offensive line and should be able to play right tackle.
  19. DAL: Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama: Jerry Jones is an exceptional drafter, and he’ll know that Payne is of good value at this part of the draft. With Payne and Demarcus Lawrence, Dallas will have a solid defensive line.
  20. DET: Derrius Guice, RB, LSU: The Lions have a terrible running game. Period. Give Matthew Stafford some help. Please.
  21. BUF: Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA: Davenport is an intriguing prospect, and I think the Bills need to get younger at the front seven.
  22. BUF(KC): James Daniels, C, Iowa: Eric Wood unfortunately had to retire, so the Bills need an interior offensive lineman. James Daniels is a great center and will be a starter for years to come.
  23. LAR: Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama: The Rams have an ascending secondary, and if they can’t retain Lamarcus Joyner, Harrison will be the pick.
  24. CAR: Connor Williams, OT, Texas: The Panthers need to solidify this offensive line. Signing Matt Kalil was a bonehead move, but they need to move on and get the young talent in Connor Williams.
  25. TEN: Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M: Corey Davis likely won’t be the star the Titans need them to be, and having an extra receiver will further help Marcus Mariota’s development.
  26. ATL: Donte Jackson, CB, LSU: Desmond Trufant is good, but getting older. The Falcons need to have an intriguing prospect at the corner position such as Donte Jackson.
  27. NO: Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama: The Saints have an emerging defense, but having another linebacker will further help this defensive unit.
  28. PIT: Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville: Pittsburgh has a lot of average cornerbacks on their team. They need a true number one corner going forward.
  29. JAX: Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina: I’m surprised Marcedes Lewis is still on the Jags. Jacksonville should mimic what Tampa Bay has done at the tight end position: have a veteran (Cameron Brate for the Bucs, Marcedes Lewis for the Jags) and a young tight end (O.J. Howard for the Bucs, Hayden Hurst for the Jags). It could be a sustainable model for the shaky QB play in Blake Bortles.
  30. MIN: Vita Vea, DT, Washington: Many people wonder why I don’t value defensive tackles as much. It’s not so much that I don’t value the position, but NFL teams have routinely let this positional group slip. Vea will be a great steal for the Vikings.
  31. NE: Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio State: The Patriots need a good edge rusher for the future. Hubbard is one of the best on the board and he fits the Patriots mould.
  32. PHI: Brian O’Neil, OT, Pittsburgh: Jason Peters is old and Hal Vaitai isn’t great. O’Neil is an athletic specimen and can work in Doug Pederson’s offense.  
Nick’s Picks: 2018 NFL Draft 4.0

Nick’s Picks: 2018 NFL Draft 4.0

In the 4.0 version of Nick’s Picks, we assess prospects with now having more information on them. As the NFL Combine comes up shortly, we’ll get to see the athletic talents these prospects have. Once the Combine happens, we’ll see how these prospects’ change in rankings. For now, we’ll keep into consideration how prospects are ranked.

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

Biggest Takeaways:

Courtland Sutton becomes the sixth overall pick. What? Well, it could happen. I think the Jets are in the same position the Titans were in last season with their receiving corps, where they needed talent and they had the draft pick to do it. Sutton could become a great compliment to recently acquired Jermaine Kearse. Imagine if Kirk Cousins goes to the Jets? They could become a sleeper team for the playoffs.

SMU WR Courtland Sutton.

The 49ers find their lockdown corner in Denzel Ward. San Francisco is really looking like everything is going in their direction. However, their secondary is relatively weak and they need a playmaker in Denzel Ward to shutdown the NFC’s top receivers. Ohio State CB Denzel Ward.

Joshua Jackson heads to the nation’s capital. Some may think that there isn’t a need at corner for Washington, but they are set to ship off Kendall Fuller to Kansas City and Bashaud Breeland may leave in free agency. Jackson could pair up with Josh Norman to make a great tandem.

Image result for joshua jackson iowa

Baker Mayfield slips to the Chargers. Some think Mayfield will be a top 10 pick, but I expect him to have a Johnny Manziel-esque slip in the draft. His off-the-field issues may not be a huge factor for some, but since the QB is the face of the franchise, some will be turned off by him. Plus, the loud-mouth that is Philip Rivers would be a good mentor for Mayfield.

Oklahoma QB Baker Mayfield.

Lamar Jackson becomes a Buffalo Bill. I think that the Bills will trade up to nab Jackson earlier in the draft, but since I don’t want to predict trades, I have him slipping to the Bills at 21. He’s a more polished version of Tyrod Taylor, and he could be a great pairing with Lesean McCoy.

Louisville QB Lamar Jackson.