NFL Mock Draft 2.0

Saquon Barkley” by Chris Spon is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

My highly anticipated second mock draft is here one week from the actual draft and there are some intriguing moves that I feel are going to happen. So without further ado, here is what I think will happen in Dallas, Tx on April 26th.

1. Cleveland Browns – Baker Mayfield QB, Oklahoma

The Browns have had all of the Quarterbacks in town and I think they will settle on Mayfield. There have been smokescreens sent out about Darnold and most recently Allen. Mayfield, I feel checks off all of their boxes and has the least amount of red flags of the other three. Mayfield has been the most successful of any of the other quarterbacks and that separates him from the rest.

2. New York Giants – Saquon Barkley RB, Penn State

Barkley is the best player in the draft. The Giants are in need of another weapon to make a final run as Eli is embarking on the twilight of his career. Pairing Barkley with OBJ, and if the rumors are correct Dez Bryant, will make the Giants the most potent offense in the NFC East.

3. New York Jets (via Colts) – Sam Darnold QB, USC

Darnold goes from the west coast to the east. Darnold, having played in the pressure cooker that is LA when you are the QB at USC, has prepared him to be the QB for the Jets and the New York media.  Having Josh McCown already there will be a huge asset for Darnold so he can learn how to be a professional from one of the consummate pros.

4.  Buffalo Bills (via Browns from Texans) – Josh Allen QB, Wyoming

Allen seems to be a good fit and the Bills are going to trade up to get him. The Bills are in need of a long-term solution at QB, and if they do not trade up to the top four they’ll be shut out again.

5. Denver Broncos – Denzel Ward CB, Ohio State University

With the departure of Talib this offseason and the signing of Keenum, John Elway’s focus will be on the secondary and not one of the quarterbacks. Ward is the latest defensive back from the new DBU and clearly the best in the draft. Ward gives the Broncos the number one CB that they need to solidify the secondary.

6. Indianapolis Colts (via Jets) – Bradley Chubb DE, North Carolina State

The Colts traded down and were still able to acquire the guy they ultimately wanted. Chubb is an excellent pass rusher and the Colts desperately need his skill set.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Minkah Fitzpatrick S, Alabama

The best player on the best team in the country falls to the Bucs at number seven because of the run on QBs. Fitzpatrick is the best player on the board and will give the Bucs a mainstay at safety for years to come.

8. Chicago Bears – Quentin Nelson OG, Notre Dame

This is the easiest prediction in the draft. Nelson is one of the top players in the draft if he was an OT he probably would go number one. His college Offensive Line Coach is now the O Line coach of the Bears. The Bears need O Line help to protect their young QB Mitch Trubisky, and Nelson will help fortify the middle of the line.

9. San Francisco 49ers – Marcus Davenport DE, UT San Antonio

The 49ers need a pass rusher and Davenport is the second best in the draft. The 49ers will be everyone’s pick to make the playoffs after they acquired Jimmy G from the Patriots and they finished the season 6-1 in their last seven games, winning five straight to close out the season.

10. Oakland Raiders – Roquan Smith ILB, Georgia

The first pick of the second stint of the Jon Gruden era is a linebacker from Georgia. No one improved their draft stock more than Smith in the College Football Playoff.  Smith was the best player on the field in both games, making plays sideline to sideline.

11. Miami Dolphins – Tremaine Edmunds OLB, Virginia Tech

The Dolphins could go any number of directions with the eleventh pick. They have had a lot of departures this year with the likes of Jarvis Landry and Ndamukong Suh being the biggest names.  Edmunds gives the Dolphins an OLB that is the best available at number 11.

12. Cleveland Browns (via Buffalo Bills form Cincinnati) –Mike McGlinchey OT, Notre Dame

With the retirement of Joe Thomas and the Browns missing out on the big free agent offensive tackles, this position becomes a need that McGlinchey can fill. McGlinchey was a unanimous first-team All-American and can be a staple at LT the way Joe Thomas was for 11 years.

13. Washington Redskins – Rashaan Evans ILB, Alabama

The Redskins have had a busy offseason so far, losing Kirk Cousins and then signing Alex Smith to shore up their QB position. Since they do not have a need on offense, Evans fills a need they have on defense. Also, drafting the second best player from the best team in the nation is never a bad idea.

14. Green Bay Packers – Josh Jackson CB, Iowa

The Packers are in need of a big time CB and Jackson can fill that role for them. In their biggest game of the year, Jackson picked JT Barret three times as they upset OSU. Couple that with the fact that the Packers lost their number one guy to the Browns and Jackson is a welcome sight at 14. Plus a guy from Iowa going to Green Bay just seems right.

15. Arizona Cardinals – Josh Rosen QB, UCLA

You knew that one of the four QBs was going to fall out of the top 10. Rosen has never been the top guy and he feels like a guy that will benefit from a fall to 15 and get snatched up by the Cardinals.  Rosen and the Cardinals feel like a natural fit. He will not have to play in inclimate weather very often and that will be good for him. He will also have Sam Bradford to learn from so he will not have to perform right away.

16. Baltimore Ravens – Calvin Ridley WR, Alabama

Joe Flacco will need a deep threat and Ridley has the speed to burn.  With the signing of Crabtree, Ridley will not have to be the number one right away. Ridley will give the big-armed Flacco a legitimate threat to go get those deep balls.

17. Los Angeles Chargers – Kolton Miller OT, UCLA

The Chargers need to protect Phillip Rivers. Miller is another one of those guys that can be a mainstay at LT for years to come. He’ll protect Rivers, and then whoever plays QB when he hangs up his cleats.

18. Seattle Seahawks- Orlando Brown OT, Oklahoma

The run on offensive tackles has begun and it is high time the Seahawks jump on board. For years they have tried to convert defensive lineman and tight ends to be the offensive lineman and have paid the price. Russell Wilson routinely runs for his life and Brown will be the first move to protecting him.

19. Dallas Cowboys – James Washington WR, Oklahoma State

The Cowboys just released a former Cowboy and then they will draft another one. Washington is probably the most polished WR in the draft and will fit in nicely with the Dallas Cowboys.

20. Detroit Lions – Sam Hubbard DE, Ohio State University

Detroit is in need of a pass rushing DE to shore up the defense. New Head Coach Matt Patricia is a defensive minded coach, so his first pick being on defense is no surprise. The Lions have always been able to score points, but now they need to concentrate on not letting their opponents score so many points and ruin the run of franchise QB Matt Stafford.

21. Cincinnati Bengals – Isaiah Wynn OG, Georgia

Wynn strengthens the interior of the offensive line. With AJ McCarron gone, protecting Andy Dalton is now paramount. Look for the Bengals going QB in the later rounds to try and groom him behind Dalton.

22. Cleveland Browns (via Bills via Chiefs) – Harold Landry DE/OLB, Boston College

Landry could be a dynamic pass rusher on the other side of Garrett.  The defense could really be dangerous between the draft and the free agency pickups.

23. New England Patriots – Mike Hughes CB, Central Florida

The Patriots need to shore up a once proud secondary. If the Super Bowl proved anything, it is that they need to get younger and faster on the backend. Hughes established himself as a lockdown CB during UCF’s undefeated season in 2017.

24. Carolina Panthers – Christian Kirk WR, Texas A&M

Kirk gives Newton the speedy slot receiver that can catch and run.  Kirk will also help in the return game.

25. Tennessee Titans – Lorenzo Carter OLB, Georgia

Carter is an OLB who can also become an elite pass rusher. He may not have received the attention of Roquan Smith, but he can play just as well.

26. Atlanta Falcons – Da’Ron Payne DT, Alabama

Payne is the first DT off the board and the Falcons are ecstatic that he fell to 26. The best D Lineman from a factory that produces first-round defensive lineman is always a great pick.

27. New Orleans Saints – Mark Andrews TE, Oklahoma

Getting Brees a big target in the middle of the field will make the Saints offense even more potent.  Brees just signed a contract extension, so look for them to go QB in the later rounds.

28. Pittsburgh Steelers – Derwin James Safety, Florida State

The Steelers always seem to draft well, and I believe that is because they always take the best available instead of reaching for a need. James is a great Safety that is going to fall to the end of the first round for Pittsburgh. The best part is it also fills a need.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars – Connor Williams OT, Texas

The fourth OT taken in the first round is Williams from Texas.  Bortles just signed an extension and protecting him is paramount.

30. Minnesota Vikings – Billy Price C/G, Ohio State University

Price is the top center in the draft, but he can also play guard and that versatility makes him attractive to the Vikings.

31. New England Patriots Ronnie Harrison Safety, Alabama

Harrison is a versatile safety from Alabama that did not get the accolades he could have because he played beside Minkah Fitzpatrick. The Patriots two first round picks are used to shore up the secondary. Do not be surprised if they try and trade up if they love one of the QBs.

32. Philadelphia Eagles – Mike Gesicki TE, Penn State

The combine stud rounds out the first round of the draft as the TE goes to the World Champions.

Projected Winners of the First Round

  • Browns – 3 first rounders
  • Patriots – Addressed secondary
  • Steelers – Got a steal at 28
  • Giants – Added the best player in the draft
  • Colts – Traded down and got the player they wanted

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