Welcome to my first mock edition of this year’s NFL Draft.
Similarly to Chip, I will be doing three editions. We have both agreed to drop our final mock draft on the day of the first round – which we’ll discuss on our upcoming podcasts.
Now that the first wave of Free Agency is over, here is my first edition of who I believe each teams should select.
1) Cleveland Browns: Sam Darnold – QB, USC
Cleveland won’t mess this up. The consensus best QB in the draft, some think best QB in the past few seasons, will lead the Browns revival.
2) New York Giants: Josh Rosen – QB, UCLA
The Giants scupper the Jets plans and resist SaQuon Barkley. Josh Rosen develops behind Eli Manning and eventually becomes the main man in Big Blue.
3) New York Jets: Josh Allen – QB, Wyoming
The New York Jets settle for high upside project in Josh Allen rather than taking Baker Mayfield. They need to hit with this pick after trading up.
4) Cleveland Browns: SaQuon Barkley – RB, Penn State
Those Browns win the draft as they select the player who everyone wants to take, as well as taking the quarterback with the most upside.
5) Denver Broncos: Quenton Nelson – G, Notre Dame
Denver takes the best player on the board and creates a monster offensive interior.
6) Indianapolis Colts: Bradley Chubb – EDGE, NC State
The Colts trade three spots down and still get the man they probably would have taken with the third overall pick. Chubb is by far the best pass-rusher in this draft.
7) Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Minkah Fitzpatrick – DB, Alabama
Tampa needs a leader in the secondary, Minkah Fitzpatrick was the co-captain of Alabama’s title winning defence. He is the best player available here.
8) Chicago Bears: Tremaine Edmunds – LB, Virginia Tech
The departures of Pernell McPhee and Jerrell Freeman leaves a hole in the linebacker core. Edmunds is a do-it-all player.
9) San Francisco 49ers: Denzel Ward – CB, Ohio State
The top cornerback in the draft plays across future Hall of Fame corner Richard Sherman in the 49ers new-look defence.
10) Oakland Raiders: Roquan Smith – LB, Georgia
Roquan Smith is the sideline to sideline linebacker which Jon Gruden side needs, he will thrive in his system.
11) Miami Dolphins: Vita Vea – DT, Washington
Vita Vea is a monster, and he would make a great replacement after losing Ndamukong Suh.
12) Buffalo Bills: Baker Mayfield – QB, Oklahoma
My favourite player in this draft. The nations top QB last year will be the leader the Buffalo Bills franchise needs.
13) Washington Redskins: Derwin James – S, Florida State
One of Chip’s favourite player in the draft – it’s tough not to like Derwin James. This young safety will be an instant hit in Washington’s secondary.
14) Green Bay Packers: Josh Jackson – CB, Iowa
The Packers need to bolster their secondary, and adding Josh Jackson to go alongside Kevin King would be smart.
15) Arizona Cardinals: Connor Williams – T, Texas
Protecting starting QB Sam Bradford will be vital if the Cardinals are to make a run this year. Williams might be the best tackle in this draft.
16) Baltimore Ravens: Calvin Ridley – WR, Alabama
Ozzie Newsome loves his alumni and the Ravens need a franchise wideout, even with Michael Crabtree.
17) LA Chargers: Mike McGlinchley – T, Notre Dame
Offensive line help will be necessary if the LA Chargers are to give Phillip Rivers one last shot. McGlinchley will also help Melvin Gordon and their running game.
18) Seattle Seahawks: Marcus Davenport – EDGE, UTSA
Fills a huge need for the Seahawks after the traded Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril’s future uncertain. Marcus Davenport is the best player on the board for the Hawks.
19) Dallas Cowboys: Taven Bryan – DT, Florida
America’s team, my Dallas Cowboys, fills a need that they cannot afford to fill in free agency. Bryan should wreak havoc alongside David Irving inside.
20) Detroit Lions: James Daniels – C, Iowa
With Billy Price injuring his pectoral muscle, the Lions take the best available inside offensive linemen in the draft. Daniels is a stud and a gamer.
21) Cincinnati Bengals: Rashaan Evans – LB, Alabama
An aging core and an untrustworthy Vontaze Burfict lead to this pick. Evans improves the Bengals speed on defence.
22) Buffalo Bills: DJ Moore – WR, Maryland
The Buffalo Bills give Baker Mayfield an explosive weapon on the outside in DJ Moore.
23) LA Rams: Courtland Sutton – WR, SMU
The SMU wideout replaces Sammy Watkins in this high flying offense, giving them a true X receiver across from Robert Woods.
24) Carolina Panthers: Will Hernandez – G, UTEP
Andrew Norwell’s big move to the Jags forces Carolina’s hand, as they take a dominating guard who will help block for the run and pass.
25) Tennessee Titans: Dallas Goedert – TE, South Dakota State
Another mismatch for Marucus Mariota to use at tight end, and to gain know how from Delanie Walker. Chip prefers Gesiciki, I’m a Goedert guy.
26) Atlanta Falcons: Mike Hughes – CB, UCF
Although Robert Alford is a gamer, Desmond Trufant needs a true partner in crime at the cornerback position.
27) New Orleans Saints: Da’Ron Payne – DT, Alabama
The Saints defensive front gets meaner as they look to make the most out of their Super Bowl window. Payne dominated in College and is a player with high upside.
28) Pittsburgh Steelers: Leighton Vander Esch – LB, Boise State
With Ryan Shazier’s future questionable, this becomes a need again in Pittsburgh. Leighton Vander Esch could be a day one starter in the middle of the Steelers defence.
29) Jacksonville Jaguars: Lamar Jackson – QB, Louisville
I’m not as high on Lamar Jackson as his Chip (he’s definitely too high on him), but I did admit that I think he’s starting to be overlooked. By selecting him, Jacksonville has insurance for Blake Bortles.
30) Minnesota Vikings: Christian Kirk – WR, Texas A&M
The Vikings probably have the least amount of “needs” heading into the draft. Therefore, they add this explosive playmaker to give Kirk Cousins another weapon. With Thielen and Diggs on the outside, Kirk will fit right in playing in the slot.
31) New England Patriots: Harold Landry – EDGE, Boston College
New England simply didn’t get enough pressure in the super bowl loss to the Eagles. This will stick in Bill Belichick’s mind and he will look to this talented edge rusher, and they get one from just down the road at Boston College. Landry has high upside as a pass-rusher.
32) Philadelphia Eagles: Orlando Brown – T, Oklahoma
The Eagles had so many offensive line injuries it was crazy last year. Brown had a poor showing at the combine, as he looked overweight, slow and unathletic. However, his impressive tape will be afford time to develop in Philly as the future left-tackle behind an aging, unreliable Jason Peters.
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