Entirely too early NFL Mock Draft 2018

Posted: December 9, 2017 in Football, New entries, NFL

The NFL Draft is in one hundred and forty one days. Which of course means I may as well write up a mock draft for the top ten teams. I’ll be rating positions as they are right now. There’s a lot of improbable things going on here. Like Baker Mayfield going in the top 25 picks. Or a guard being drafted in the top ten.

  1. Cleveland Browns – Baker Mayfield, QB Oklahoma – If the Browns are really all about analytics then they should love Mayfield. Sure he’s “too short” to play Quarterback. But so was Russell Wilson. And Drew Brees. And Michael Vick. I really can’t say if the Browns are going to draft yet another quarterback. But if they do. Mayfield is the best passer of the football in this draft. Not best tall guy, or best fast guy, or best looks good on tv guy (Sam Darnold).
  2. San Francisco 49ers – Roquan Smith, ILB Georgia – Smith’s played at a high level in the college football playoffs. The Butkus award winner would fill a position of need as the 49ers now have Reuben Foster and part time players at linebacker now.
  3. New York Giants – Lamar Jackson, Louisville QB – Jackson’s improved from his Heisman season though his supporting cast hasn’t been there. He’s got a lot of measurables that coaches value (height, improving stats year over year, size). The Giants may look to replicate the kind of production Houston got from DeShaun Watson in his rookie season.
  4. Indianapolis Colts – Bradley Chubb, DE NC State – The Colts need help. Jacoby Brissett has improved as a passer as the seasons’ progressed, but he doesn’t play defense. His former teammate, Bradley Chubb does though. Chubb was a big part of why NC State was relevant this season finishing 8-4 ahead of Louisville and Florida State in the ACC Atlantic. The Colts’ awful pass rush will benefit greatly from Chubb’s impact.
  5. Chicago Bears – Minkah Fitzpatrick, FS Alabama – Amos has been playing at a high level for the Bears this season. Fitzpatrick has been a technician and John Fox likes to build a beast on defense. The Bears could also go with a wide receiver here.
  6. Denver Broncos – Sam Darnold, QB USC – The Broncos have to get a quarterback. If Alex Smith or Case Keenum are available, they may go after a free agent. Darnold has arguably the highest ceiling of all the passers in the draft but will need a couple years to adjust. If Darnold did start year one, he would have DeMaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders to throw to.
  7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame OT – The Bucs offensive line play has been atrocious. They would like to take hometown guy Derwin James here. But Winston’s health is too important. McGlinchey played well against major competition this season and was a big part of Notre Dame’s success in the ground game.
  8. Cleveland (through Houston) – Saquon Barkley, Penn State RB – The Browns should probably draft an eventual replacement for Joe Thomas here. But they need to get as much talent on the field as possible. Barkley has so much potential as a runner and pass catcher.
  9. Arizona Cardinals – Josh Rosen, UCLA QB – The time was last year to draft a QB for Arizona. Palmer may retire, and even if he doesn’t the Cardinals desperately need to groom a replacement. Rosen’s been described as the most ‘pro-ready’ of the quarterbacks in the draft and plays in a west coast offense like the Cardinals run.
  10. New York Jets – Quenton Nelson, OG Notre Dame – If there is a run on Quarterbacks the Jets may draft a standout at a position of need. The Jets of old thrived on a stingy defense and a suffocating ground game. The defense has improved with last years’ draft class. Nelson would mark a major step towards New York reestablishing themselves as a running team.

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