Cleveland fired Sashi Brown and hired John Dorsey. In 2017 each one of Cleveland's scouts had a different quarterback as QB1 with one regional scout endorsing Watson, one endorsing Mahomes, one endorsing Davis Webb, and one endorsing Kizer plus you had the Trubisky smokescreens that the media planted as well. In 2018, you see more of the same. One scout on Cleveland has Rosen as QB1, one has Mayfield as QB1, one has Josh Allen as QB1, one has Lamar as QB1, and one has Darnold as QB1. John Dorsey brought in his own scouting department so he could get a consensus on the quarterbacks in this class.
Cleveland did the unthinkable going 0-16. It's going to be up to the Browns to restore faith in Cleveland because LeBron James may leave after this season and the Chief Wahoo logo will no longer appear on Indians jerseys after 2018. Yes, you'll still see the Wahoo logo in our MLB Power Rankings and MLB Mock Drafts because I'm keeping that up until the Indians win a World Series. Let's get back to the Browns though because it's up to them to restore things in Cleveland.
I had five quarterbacks graded with a 93 potential with Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, Josh Allen, Baker Mayfield, and Lamar Jackson tied for the top spot heading into the Pro Days. I adjusted my potential grades after the Pro Days moving Sam Darnold up to a 98 potential after he showed he could throw in the rain. Josh Rosen showed he could throw in the wind and rain so I adjusted his grade from 93 to 95. Baker Mayfield and Josh Allen still have 93 potential grades and Lamar Jackson has a 92 potential grade after my final evaluations on all five first round quarterbacks.
I've also completed the top 330 prospects on our 2018 NFL Draft Game and will be making adjustments to the game based on how this seven round mock draft plays out. I've updated my draft game a lot this year.
John Dorsey seems like someone who will take a quarterback that can read up to 6 progressions because the only quality I saw this with when it came to the 2017 quarterbacks was Patrick Mahomes. Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, and Baker Mayfield all have this quality. Sam Darnold didn't throw at the 2018 NFL Combine, but Dorsey went to Darnold's Bowl Game against Ohio State and he didn't go to Mayfield or Rosen's Pro Day. Dorsey went to Mahomes Pro Day at Texas Tech last season in his final season as the Chiefs GM.
Cleveland traded for Jarvis Landry, Tyrod Taylor, and Damarious Randall. They also sent Kizer to Green Bay, Kessler to Jacksonville, and Kevin Hogan to Washington to wash the blood of their 0-16 quarterbacks off their hands. They signed Carlos Hyde to a 3-year $15-million dollar deal in Free Agency as well before adding T.J. Carrie as a quarter cornerback. They also traded Jason McCourty their top cornerback to New England so now the Browns need multiple cornerbacks even with the addition of nickel cornerback E.J. Gaines, but its a very deep cornerback class. They still may draft a quarterback at 1 and sit him behind Tyrod Taylor. I wouldn't be suprised if Cleveland still got Darnold and developed him. Darnold is the one guy in this draft that I believe can beat out Tyrod Taylor in training camp, that being said Cleveland's plan is to develop Darnold.
Sam Darnold had 3,787 passing yards, 26 passing touchdowns, 12 interceptions, and a 63.7 completion percentage. Darnold had 80 more passing yards and a higher completion percentage than Josh Rosen and he dominated his Pro Day in the rain to the point where passing on him at first overall would be the definition of insanity.
There are last minute reports about Baker Mayfield being the pick. I think that's a smokescreen though and Cleveland ends up taking Darnold at 1.
I got a Sam Darnold grade posted on our 2018 NFL Draft Results page. I heard yesterday on Twitter that the Browns reached out to Darnold about a contract already so he's probably the pick.
I have a film session of Sam Darnold on my Youtube Channel. I'll post a video of it so you can watch the tape rather than reading these in depth write ups. The Darnold video was my first video, so I hope you enjoy it.
Buffalo offered 12, 22, 53, 56, 65, and 96 for this pick. The New York Giants told the Bills to include a 2019 first round pick just like the Cleveland Browns at 1. New York has narrowed this pick down to Sam Darnold if the Browns pass on him, Saquon Barkley, Bradley Chubb, and Josh Rosen. Right now Darnold and Barkley are the two players they are eying and I just don't see them moving out of 2. Besides, I don't predict trades in my mock drafts.
New York takes the best player on the board at 2. I have a max grade on Saquon Barkley. I had a max grade on Andrew Luck and Myles Garrett. New York gets their home run threat in the 6-0 230 lb Saquon Barkley. An offense with Eli Manning, Saquon Barkley, and Odell Beckham Jr. would take off.
Saquon Barkley gives the Giants a running back with the vision, pass protection, pass catching, and speed that you want a franchise running back to have. Barkley had 1,076 rushing yards and 7 rushing touchdowns as a true freshman in 2015. He had 1,496 rushing yards and 18 rushing touchdowns as a true sophomore in 2016. Barkley has 1,134 rushing yards, 16 rushing touchdowns, and 594 receiving yards as a junior in 2017. Barkley has also corrected his issues in pass protection making him a three down back. Saquon Barkley gives quarterback Eli Manning someone in the backfield that he can depend on.
I got a Saquon Barkley grade posted on our 2018 NFL Draft Results page. I heard yesterday on Twitter that the Giants are locked in on Barkley at 2.
I have a film session of Saquon Barkley on my Youtube Channel. I'll post a video of it so you can watch the tape rather than reading these in depth write ups.
New York should have stayed put at 6. They still could have got their quarterback. At the same time, Buffalo had plans to move up and New York basically told Buffalo they have to settle for whoever is there at 12 by moving up to 3 unless the Bills can manage to move up to 2. I think trading up this far for a quarterback is irresponsible when you need a second running back, additional wide receivers outside of Roby Anderson, a new tight end to replace Austin Seferian-Jenkins, starters at both offensive tackle spots, and a starting center. I'll probably give the Jets a C grade in my live draft special unless New York ends up with Darnold, Rosen, or Mayfield.
New York wanted to guarantee themselves Darnold, Rosen, or Allen, and if the Giants or Browns gets Saquon Barkley it pretty much means that the Jets get Mayfield or Rosen at 3 so I can see the reasoning behind why the Jets moved up to 3 even though I would have stayed put.
A lot of people in the NFL Draft Community whether its Eric Galko, Peter King, Todd McShay, or Tony Pauline believe Baker Mayfield is the pick at 3. On Monday, Tony Mario told me that was a smokescreen and Rosen is their guy. Jay Glazier also reported the same thing Tony did last night.
The New York Jets take Josh Rosen at 3. He's my top ranked quarterback after Sam Darnold plus he's probably the only rookie that could beat out Teddy Bridgewater and Josh McCown to start week 1.
Josh Rosen went 50/55 at his Pro Day throwing in the wind. He also threw in the rain like Darnold at a private workout.
Rosen has 3,717 passing yards, 26 passing touchdowns, 10 interceptions, and a 62.5 completion percentage in 2017. Rosen would have three consecutive seasons of 3,500 passing yards if he didn't suffer a season ending injury in 2016 plus he was the top quarterback recruit coming out of High School.
I have a film session of Josh Rosen on my Youtube Channel. I'll post a video of it so you can watch the tape rather than reading these in depth write ups. I was more impressed with Rosen's tape than Darnold's, but that was before Darnold showed he could fix his concerns at USC's Pro Day. Teams love Darnold's deep ball accuracy more than Josh Rosen's though and Darnold fixed a lot of his concerns on tape at USC's Pro Day.
Cleveland will either draft on need and take Minkah Fitzpatrick at 4 or draft on philosophy and take Bradley Chubb at 4. Cleveland needs multiple starters at cornerback because I really see E.J. Gaines as nothing more than a nickel cornerback.
The two best players on my board are Bradley Chubb and Minkah Fitzpatrick. Both have the exact same grade, but I'm sold on Myles Garrett and Emmanuel Ogbah even though Dorsey has shown philosophically, that he's not afraid to add more pass rushers to bolster how effective his rushers are off the edge. Cleveland can go either way with Chubb or Minkah Fitzpatrick, but Minkah fills more of a need even though most people have Chubb here now.
Cleveland brought in Minkah Fitzpatrick for an individual workout. They did not bring in Saquon Barkley or Bradley Chubb for an individual workout, so I'm going with Minkah Fitzpatrick here.
I have a film session of Minkah Fitzpatrick on my Youtube Channel. I'll post a video of it so you can watch the tape rather than reading these in depth write ups.
Denver only signed Case Keenum to a 2-year deal. They can let him go in 2019 if he sucks. If Keenum doesn't match his high level of play in 2017 they can draft a quarterback like Baker Mayfield and develop him on the bench until Keenum screws up.
Baker Mayfield may be undersized at 6-1 220 lbs. He's more along the lines of Drew Brees than Johnny Manziel and has a better arm then Brees did when he came out of Purdue.
Baker Mayfield dominated 2015 with 3,700 passing yards, 36 passing touchdowns, 7 interceptions, and a 68.1 completion percentage in 2015. Baker Mayfield had 3,965 passing yards, 40 passing touchdowns, 8 interceptions, and a 71.0 completion percentage in 2016. So far in 2017, Mayfield has 4,340 passing yards, 41 passing touchdowns, 5 interceptions, and a 71.0 completion percentage. Mayfield is on pace to become the first quarterback with back-to-back seasons with a completion percentage of 71 percent or higher since Andrew Luck. Mayfield balled out in the Senior Bowl practice sessions despite leaving the game. Baker is a team player, he's going to start right away in Buffalo.
Denver brought in Baker Mayfield for the first week of Offseason Workouts. Plus a source that works with the Broncos told me that Baker Mayfield is tied with Josh Rosen as the top player on Denver's board so if that's the case, Baker Mayfield will be the fifth overall selection. If Baker is gone, Denver will either draft Josh Rosen or trade the pick to Buffalo because there are reports that Denver and Buffalo have a deal in place at 5 if Baker is gone by then.
I have a film session of Baker Mayfield on my Youtube Channel. I'll post a video of it so you can watch the tape rather than reading these in depth write ups. Thomas Coburn from our podcast was kind enough to help me evaluate Mayfield on tape.
Indianapolis is switching to a 4-3 defense. There isn't a pass rusher in Free Agency that brings what Bradley Chubb brings to the table and I'm certain that Ballard will be running up to the podium with his draft card like a blue hedgehog if Chubb is still there at 6 because the only way the Colts move this pick is if Bradley Chubb is gone and they trade with a team like Chicago to get Roquan Smith at 8.
A defensive line anchored by Bradley Chubb at 4-3 right end with Hassan Ridgeway who had 3 sacks down the stretch as a 2016 fourth round pick and Henry Anderson complimenting Chubb at 4-3 defensive tackle with Tarrell Basham or Jabaal Sheard at 4-3 left end. A defensive line of that caliber will get pressure on the opposing quarterback. Indianapolis released Jonathan Hankins so they could get a defensive tackle as well if one of the big names in this draft falls to the second round. I can also see them waiting until 2019 for a defensive tackle with that being a much deeper defensive tackle class.
Bradley Chubb will thrive in a 4-3 defense as a 4-3 only prospect. Indianapolis is the perfect fit for Bradley Chubb now that they are moving to a 4-3 defnes. With 40 solo tackles, 33 assisted tackles, 73 total tackles, 25 tackles for a loss, 10 sacks, and 10 quarterback hurries in 2017, Chubb is too good to pass on here.
I also have a film session of Bradley Chubb on my Youtube Channel. I'll post a video of it so you can watch the tape rather than reading these in depth write ups. Indianapolis still got Bradley Chubb at 6 even after trading down with the New York Jets.
The Buccaneers get an immediate starter at free safety who compliments Justin Evans at strong safety. He fills a key void at free safety. They should try to move this pick with Buffalo and get Derwin at 12 along with some other picks, but their front office is run by idiots and my guess is they will take Derwin James here.
I also don't believe Tampa Bay will take a defensive end until day 2 thanks to signing Vinny Curry as a Free Agent as they now have Curry and Spence as starting defensive ends in 2018. Tampa Bay also overpaid for Ryan Jensen who sucks at center compared to Ali Marpet, but opens the possibility of Marpet moving to guard too. J.R. Sweezy is a pure right guard so Ali Marpet or Donovan Smith would move to left guard if Jensen moved to center. I see Jensen as as a depth player if Marpet goes down with another injury in 2018.
I also believe Tampa Bay ignores the offensive line now since they will have Donovan Smith back at left tackle, Ali Marpet playing left guard, Ryan Jensen at center, J.R. Sweezy at right guard, and Demar Dotson at right tackle. Tampa Bay seems contempt with this mediocre offensive line so they go with the best player available and take Derwin James at 7 as a safety.
Check out Voch Lombardi on Youtube. You can also join Lombardi's Draft Talk. There you can converse with myself, Joseph Potter, Ryan Romero, John Butts, Mark Sciubba, Voch himself, and many other die hard NFL fans. I posted Lombardi's Film Session of Derwin James here.
Chicago has Cameron Meredith and Kevin White coming back. They also added Allen Robinson and Taylor Gabriel putting any notion of the team drafting Calvin Ridley to bed at 8.
Chicago re-signed both of their starting cornerbacks in Kyle Fuller and Prince Amukamara. Fuller is under contract until 2022 and Amukamara is under contract until 2021.
With Quenton Nelson still there at 8 this pick becomes an absolute no brainer for the Chicago Bears who get the best overall offensive lineman in the 2018 NFL Draft. In fact, I won't be surprised if Ryan Pace gives Chris Ballard 8 and 39 to move up to 6 for Nelson if Bradley Chubb happens to go to Cleveland at 4 because I believe Roquan Smith is plan B for the Colts if Bradley Chubb gets drafted in the top 5.
Chicago's offensive line consists of Charles Leno Jr. at left tackle, Quenton Nelson at left guard, Cody Whitehair at center, Kyle Long at right guard, and Bobbie Massie at right tackle. Hroniss Grassu is too injury prone to remain the starting center, and Whitehair showed he could be the man at center in 2017 during his rookie season so with this offensive line, Chicago gives Mitchell Trubisky more pass protection as well as getting running backs Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen an offensive lineman that can make them even better than they already are.
Voch Lombardi did a film session on Quenton Nelson too. Nelson brings more ass whoop than any offensive lineman in this class as Voch says in his film sessions.
San Francisco won the coin flip with Oakland. Their cornerback situation is a lot more stable thanks to them signing Richard Sherman. John Lynch trolled Ryan Pace into moving up to 2 for Mitchell Trubisky since he didn't have a quarterback, yet he still got his quarterback in Jimmy Garoppolo. I really do believe Lynch would tell the Bills New England offered 23 and 31 just to see if they panic by moving 12 and 22 to move up for a quarterback. I don't predict trades in mocks though so San Francisco just takes the top player on their board in Roquan Smith at 9.
The 49ers found their quarterback. They went 5-0 with Jimmy Garoppolo after Garoppolo went 2-0 when filling in for Tom Brady during the Deflate Gate suspension. Joe Staley and Trent Brown can be a great left tackle and right tackle tandem when healthy. You also added Weston Richburg at center in Free Agency. Getting a middle linebacker that is clean off the field and moving their 2017 first round pick Reuben Foster to a left outside linebacker role due to a lack of maturity could make a huge difference.
Roquan Smith had 72 solo tackles, 41 assisted tackles, 113 total tackles, 10.5 tackles for a loss, 8 quarterback hurries, 5.5 sacks, 2 deflections from pass breakups, 1 forced fumble, and 1 fumble recovery in 2017. Smith is my fifth best overall player in the draft behind Barkley, Chubb, Nelson, and Minkah and San Francisco can get the best player available at a position of need with the ninth overall pick as well as my highest graded middle linebacker since Luke Kuechly.
I also have a film session of Roquan Smith on my Youtube Channel. I'll post a video of it so you can watch the tape rather than reading these in depth write ups.
The Oakland Raiders will need a middle linebacker if Navarro Bowman leaves. Oakland added Tahir Whitehead as a 4-3 right outside linebacker, but they need a middle linebacker. Bruce Irvin is moving back to defensive end where he began his career allowing him to play off the edge next to Khalil Mack.
Tremaine Edmunds is a 6-5 253 lb middle linebacker. Edmunds has 55 solo tackles, 47 assisted tackles, 102 total tackles, 14 tackles for a loss, 5.5 sacks, 4 quarterback hurries, 3 forced fumbles, and 2 deflections from pass breakups. Edmunds is projected to run a 4.5 flat 40-time and is versatile enough to play 4-3 right outside linebacker, 4-3 middle linebacker, 4-3 left outside linebacker, and 3-4 middle linebacker.
Voch Lombardi did a film session on Tremaine Edmunds. Check it out and tell us what you think of Roquan Smith and Tremaine Edmunds in the comments section below.
Miami wants to move out of this spot, but cannot find any buyers so they get the only blue chip defensive tackle on my board at 11. Da'Ron Payne is my top ranked defensive tackle. With Miami adding Josh Sitton in Free Agency, it's starting to feel like the Dolphins will add a defensive lineman or take the top defensive player on the board at 11.
Jason Bantle did a mock draft with trades. Here it is if you want to see what he did.
I feel like the Bills are taking Josh Allen at 12 here. If Allen makes it to 12 Buffalo will be thrilled because outside of Josh Rosen he is the guy they seem to like the most. Buffalo can take their time and develop him behind A.J. McCarron.
I uploaded a film session on Wyoming quarterback Josh Allen. Allen is worth a top 15 pick, but not a top 5 pick after rewatching his tape.
The Redskins get the best player on the board in Vita Vea. This team has a huge void at nose tackle to fill. Some people believe Vea has four down ability despite being 6-5 345 lbs. I see someone with two down ability who fatigues on tape. Despite that he's very effective as a pass rusher and a run stuffer so he's someone Washington could take here if they wanted a starting nose tackle.
The Packers traded Damarious Randall. Kevin King is not a field cornerback. He covered #2 receivers at Washington while Sidney Jones covered the number one targets so that makes Jones > King. Josh Jackson out of Iowa is a field cornerback that can anchor Green Bay's secondary for years to come and unlike Rollins or King he can cover number one wide receiver targets. I've heard reports that the Packers love Josh Jackson and that he's their favorite cornerback in the draft, but I've heard just as many reports about them wanting to move up for a cornerback too.
Arizona signed Sam Bradford to a 1-year deal worth $20-million. They also got Mike Glennon as a backup on a one-year deal. That means if they draft Lamar Jackson he will develop on the bench behind Bradford and Glennon, but could work his way up the depth chart with a strong training camp.
Lamar Jackson won the 2016 Heisman Trophy after having 3,543 passing yards, 30 passing touchdowns, 21 rushing touchdowns, 51 total touchdowns, and 9 interceptions in 2016. The 6-2 208 lb Jackson has 3,660 passing yards, 27 passing touchdowns, 18 rushing touchdowns, 45 total touchdowns, and 10 interceptions in 2017. Lamar is a fantastic decision maker with elite duel threat ability. The big issue is he's never completed 60 percent of his passes in College and you also see issues with his accuracy at times on tape, but finally got that up to 60.4 percent this season in 2017. Lamar struggled in his bowl game with 4 interceptions so I can see Lamar falling to Arizona only to be their quarterback of the future.
Lamar only threw the ball 49 miles per hour at the 2018 NFL Combine with his velocity which is pretty low. One scout told me that Lamar Jackson had the worst whiteboard session since Akili Smith at the 2018 NFL Combine. He rebounded at Louisville's Pro Day despite not being as accurate as his Pro Day as the other four quarterbacks. Right now I'll give Lamar the benefit of the doubt and mock him at 15 though.
I uploaded a film session on Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson. Lamar Jackson was practically flawless in his tape versus Virginia and really made a strong impression in that one game.
Baltimore gets someone who many consider to be the top wide receiver in the 2018 NFL Draft. Calvin Ridley balled out at Alabama's Pro Day. He's now my number one wide receiver after giving him a bunch of objections throughout the process because he showed me he could run 25-30 routes just like Anthony Miller and Christian Kirk. Scouts say he breaks routes on a Michael Irvin level. I wasn't sure he could run 25-30 routes like Miller and Kirk, but he can plus he's the best receiver at breaking routes in this draft. Baltimore is taking a page from the Oakland Raiders. Oakland brought in Crabtree in Free Agency when they drafted Amari Cooper at 4 and now Baltimore is bringing in Crabtree before they draft Ridley hoping Flacco can put up Derek Carr type of numbers with Michael Crabtree and Calvin Ridley.
Voch Lombardi did a film session on Calvin Ridley. Check it out.