It’s Draft Day!!!!! The first round of the NFL Draft is tonight and I couldn’t be more excited! We finally get to know who our teams will be selecting. All the draft speculation will be cleared up over the next few days. I thought I’d put out one final mock draft before the real NFL Draft happens, so here it is!
1. CLEVELAND BROWNS – QB JOSH ALLEN, WYOMING
Josh Allen and Baker Mayfield are the two quarterbacks being considered for the number one overall pick. This morning’s reports are that the pick will be Mayfield, but I’m not sure. I personally think the Browns should take Baker Mayfield, but what I think they should do and what I think they’re going to do are different. The Browns won’t be able to pass up Allen’s big arm.
2. NEW YORK GIANTS – RB SAQUON BARKLEY, PENN STATE
The closer we’ve been getting to the draft, the less I’ve been thinking the Giants are taking a quarterback. According to recent reports, the Giants love Barkley. This offense was one of the worst in the NFL last season. With a much improved running game, it will not only help Eli Manning, but the entire offense. When Eli’s time in New York is done, Barkley could help the offense stay afloat during the transition period.
3. NEW YORK JETS – QB SAM DARNOLD, USC
Unless the Jets are planning something to shock us all, quarterback will be the pick here. Sam Darnold is still on the board after the Browns passed on him, and he’s believed to be the best quarterback in the draft by many. Baker Mayfield is very much in play here, but I’m picking the Jets to go with Darnold.
4. CLEVELAND BROWNS – DE BRADLEY CHUBB, N.C. STATE
Cleveland may trade this pick, but I think it’s time for the Browns to stop trading and just pick the best available guys. They need talent everywhere, so why not pick the best player remaining on the board? With Garrett and Chubb, nobody will want to go against the Browns defensive line.
5. DENVER BRONCOS – QB BAKER MAYFIELD, OKLAHOMA
This pick is a likely trade spot, but the Broncos need to get a long term quarterback. If they trade back, the chances of them getting that long term guy significantly decreases. They stay put and select Baker Mayfield. Mayfield would be a perfect fit for this offense with his confidence, swagger, and most importantly, accuracy. The fact that Mayfield is in the conversation for number one overall says a lot about what teams looking for a quarterback think of him.
6. BUFFALO BILLS (TRADE WITH COLTS) – QB LAMAR JACKSON, LOUISVILLE
With Josh Rosen falling down boards, Lamar Jackson could go ahead of him. Jackson is projected to be a top 20 pick, so the Bills may not even need to trade up to get him, but I don’t think they want to take the risk of waiting. If Jackson isn’t ready to play right away, the Bills can put him behind AJ McCarron until that time comes.
7. TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS – DB MINKAH FITZPATRICK, ALABAMA
Fitzpatrick hasn’t been talked about as much recently, but you could probably say that about any prospect who isn’t Saquon Barkley or a quarterback. Tampa Bay needs to upgrade many positions, with the secondary being one of the biggest needs. Fitzpatrick can cover multiple areas of the secondary, making him a valuable player for any defense.
8. CHICAGO BEARS – G QUENTON NELSON, NOTRE DAME
I’ve still got Quenton Nelson going to the Bears. He’s the best player on the board and would instantly upgrade the Bears offensive line. Trubisky needs protection if he’s going to develop into the franchise quarterback the Bears hope him to be.
9. ARIZONA CARDINALS (TRADE WITH 49ERS) – QB JOSH ROSEN, UCLA
The Cardinals are in need of a long term quarterback and there have been talks of them trading up to get one. Josh Rosen is the best available quarterback left at this point. With the 49ers trying to reload their roster and build upon late season success last year, I think they’d love to pick up an extra pick or two.
10. OAKLAND RAIDERS – S DERWIN JAMES, FLORIDA STATE
Oakland lacks play makers in the secondary and needs to upgrade. Derwin James has the potential to be a great safety in the NFL. He would instantly make the Raiders secondary better, although it would still need some work.
11. MIAMI DOLPHINS – DT VITA VEA, WASHINGTON
No quarterbacks worthy of this pick are left on the board, so the Dolphins go another direction. With the loss of Ndamukong Suh, the Dolphins need to find a player who can be disruptive in the middle of their defensive line. Vita Vea can be the disruptive guy they need and can make an impact from day one.
12. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (TRADE WITH BILLS) – DE MARCUS DAVENPORT, UTSA
Instead of getting the best pass rusher in Bradley Chubb, the Colts trade back and pick up an extra pick and also the second best pass rusher in the draft. Davenport has the potential to become a very good pass rusher, which the Colts need after producing only 25 sacks a season ago.
13. WASHINGTON REDSKINS – LB TREMAINE EDMUNDS, VIRGINIA TECH
Much like several players in this draft, Edmunds falls a little bit because of the run on quarterbacks, but the slide stops here. Washington is in need of a linebacker, and the potential of Edmunds is too much to pass up at 13.
14. GREEN BAY PACKERS – CB DENZEL WARD, OHIO STATE
It’s reported the Packers are looking to trade up to secure top talent, but they won’t have to if the draft plays out like this. Ward is another guy who slides because of the quarterback run, but he won’t get past the Packers. With the loss of Damarious Randall, the Packers need to add secondary help. They can pair Ward with last years pick, Kevin King, forming a solid corner back duo for years to come.
15. SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (TRADE WITH CARDINALS)– LB ROQUAN SMITH, GEORGIA
The 49ers need help at linebacker, especially with the trouble Rueben Foster is in. Roquan Smith is a sideline to sideline playmaker who can excel with the 49ers and help them build a defense teams fear.
16. BALTIMORE RAVENS – WR CALVIN RIDLEY, ALABAMA
Signing Willie Snead will help the Ravens, but it’s not enough for them to be out of the market for a top receiver in the draft. Calvin Ridley has been the top guy at the position throughout the draft, so the Ravens grab him and get another weapon for Flacco.
17. LOS ANGELES CHARGERS – DT DA’RON PAYNE, ALABAMA
Most of my mock drafts have Vita Vea here, but because he’s off the board in this draft, the Chargers go with the second best DT. Payne is a disruptive guy who will help increase the pressure put on quarterbacks by Bosa and Ingram.
18. CAROLINA PANTHERS (TRADE WITH SEAHAWKS) – WR D.J. MOORE, MARYLAND
I believe Seattle will trade down because they don’t have another pick until the fourth round if they stay put. They pick up an extra pick from the Panthers, who select D.J. Moore. They get an upgrade for Cam Newton at the receiver position.
19. DALLAS COWBOYS – WR COURTLAND SUTTON, SMU
Dallas would have liked to get D.J. Moore, but the Panthers jumped up one spot in front to get him. Instead the Cowboys go with Courtland Sutton, who has often been compared to Dez Bryant.
20. DETROIT LIONS – RB DERRIUS GUICE, LSU
Something has to be done about the Lions running game. It hasn’t been good for a long time, which never helps Matthew Stafford. They did sign Blount this offseason, but I think they could be looking for another running back to pair with him.
21. CINCINNATI BENGALS – C JAMES DANIELS, IOWA
The Bengals need help all over the offensive line, so they make a smart pick and get a guy in Daniels who can play multiple offensive line positions. He will almost surely be used on the interior, but the fact that he can play both center and guard makes him very valuable to a team who needs to improve their offensive line.
22. INDIANAPOLIS COLTS (TRADE WITH BILLS) – G ISAIAH WYNN, GEORGIA
One of the problems for the Colts has been keeping Andrew Luck healthy. The offensive line has never been great during Luck’s time with the team. With him returning from injury, it’s even more important he stays healthy. Isaiah Wynn can be one of the first steps in building protection for Luck.
23. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS – LB RASHAAN EVANS, ALABAMA
Two of the Patriots biggest needs are corner and linebacker. With corner having a lot more depth at the top of the draft, I think the Patriots go linebacker with their first pick and select a corner later in the first round. Evans played under one of the best coaches in College Football. He’s well coached, which Bill Belichick, one of the best coaches in the NFL, will love.
24. SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (TRADE WITH PANTHERS) – OT MIKE MCGLINCHEY, NOTRE DAME
Seattle has to get more protection for Russell Wilson so he’s not running for his life every play. Seattle could go several different ways with this pick, needing several different position upgrades, but the offensive line has been a problem for years now and needs to be fixed.
25. TENNESSEE TITANS – LB HAROLD LANDRY, BOSTON COLLEGE
The Titans need to improve their pass rush if they want their defense to improve and help them be real contenders. Harold Landry is a pass rushing specialist who can step in right away and help the Titans defense.
26. ATLANTA FALCONS – DT TAVEN BRYAN, FLORIDA
Atlanta needs to find a DT to step in now that Dontari Poe is gone. Taven Bryan is the best DT left on the board, which is why I have them taking him here. He needs to develop a little more, but his athleticism is elite.
27. NEW ORLEANS SAINTS – TE HAYDEN HURST, SOUTH CAROLINA
The receiving group in New Orleans needs to improve at both TE and WR. We’ve seen what Brees has been able to do with a top TE before, so I think they’ll target one of the top TE’s in this draft to give Brees another nice target in the passing game.
28. PITTSBURGH STEELERS – LB LEIGHTON VANDER ESCH, BOISE STATE
Pittsburgh could use an upgrade at the linebacker spot to help their defense stay one of the best in the NFL. Vander Esch didn’t have a lot of starting experience in college, but from what scouts saw they love his potential to develop into a star linebacker in the NFL.
29. JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS – OT CONNOR WILLIAMS, TEXAS
Jacksonville needs to get better at the tackle spot to protect Blake Bortles. Bortles needs time to throw for him to be effective, so protecting him is a must. Williams would probably play the swing tackle position and then transition to RT whenever he’s ready.
30. MINNESOTA VIKINGS – G WILL HERNANDEZ, UTEP
Minnesota can’t exit the first round without a top offensive lineman to protect Kirk Cousins. They have to protect Cousins as much as possible if they want to get the most out of their huge investment.
31. NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS – CB Jaire Alexander, LOUISVILLE
Here is where the Patriots will target a corner to help fill the void left by Malcolm Butler. They need to get faster in the secondary, which fits Alexander perfectly. He’s a fast corner with good coverage ability. I’m sure the Patriots can find a spot for him right away.
32. PHILADELPHIA EAGLES – TE DALLAS GOEDERT, SOUTH DAKOTA STATE
Why not make one of the best offense’s even better? Having a TE like Goedert to throw to would help this offense a ton. Carson Wentz will rely on his playmakers as he makes his way back form injury, so getting as many playmakers as possible makes sense.