2018 NFL Mock Draft: 3 Rounds
Round 1 Picks 1-16
The 2018 NFL Draft has a chance to be a great group. This is how the draft order stands with 2 regular season games left.
Chris Ransom follow @DraftUtopia Last Updated: December 28, 2017 with updates every Thursday leading up to Draft Day.
Cleveland Browns: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
- 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 even though he may return.
- Cleveland is 0-15. They have clinched the top pick in the 2018 NFL Draft and will have the first pick for the second year in a row.
- I have four quarterbacks graded with a 91 potential with Josh Rosen, Sam Darnold, Baker Mayfield, and Lamar Jackson tied this late in the season even though I will update my quarterback rankings after the underclassmen deadline. It sounds like Sam Darnold will go back, but if he does declare he's still in the running to be the first pick since he denied the rumors that he won't play for the Browns.
- 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. I don't see that with Lamar Jackson yet even though he's improved from a 4 progression to a 5 progression quarterback.
- I'm going with Josh Rosen at this point because the rumors about him having bad intangibles and his teammates not liking him just seem like slander to damage Rosen's draft stock. 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.
- DeShone Kizer is a borderline starter at best. I gave him an 85 grade last year which I believe is his ceiling. Sure you could keep developing him and maybe he becomes a solid starter down the road. He will never be elite though and watching him suck this year has been so frustrating for the Browns as an organization. I just can't see Cleveland passing on a quarterback at 1. Dorsey will want his guy and Hue Jackson has stated he's open to having the guy Dorsey drafts compete with Kizer for the starting job. That's why Josh Rosen goes to Cleveland.
- Other Cleveland Browns Selections
New York Giants: Sam Darnold, QB, USC
- In this mock, the Giants get a quarterback at 2 now cause they benched Eli Manning. I feel like the Giants need to replace Ereck Flowers more. At the same time sources are telling us that the Mara's want to have a long-term plan for a successor when Eli Manning moves on. New York scouted Sam Darnold, Josh Rosen, and Josh Allen. New York's new General Manager will likely have to decide on Sam Darnold or Josh Allen unless there is someone they like more.
- I'm going to put Darnold here because Josh Allen has no business going second overall. New York may reach for him here if Darnold goes back, but until Darnold officially decides to return to school, I'm going to re-add Darnold to my mock draft because if Darnold dominates versus Ohio State in the 2017 Goodyear Cotton Bowl, he will have two signature Bowl wins on his resume and enough traction to convince a team to take him in the top 5 despite a rough start.
- 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 so if he declares he's still in the running to be the top pick. I have Josh Rosen at 1 and Sam Darnold at 2 on my 2018 NFL Draft Game so those two quarterbacks begin this mock draft.
Indianapolis Colts: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
- Indianapolis gets Saquon Barkley at 3. I've only handed three prospects a perfect 99 potential grade this decade. Those prospects are Andrew Luck, Myles Garrett, and Saquon Barkley.
- I realize the Colts have Frank Gore and Marlon Mack. Saquon is on a whole different level. 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 is projected to run a 4.33 40-time as well, plus he takes a lot of pressure off of Luck giving Indianapolis a blue chip quarterback and a blue chip running back.
Cleveland Browns: Minkah Fitzpatrick, CB, Alabama
- Minkah Fitzpatrick is versatile enough to play anywhere on the secondary at field cornerback, boundary cornerback, strong safety, or free safety. Cleveland cannot pass on someone with that kind of skill set at 4.
- Other Cleveland Browns Selections
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Bradley Chubb, RE, North Carolina State
- Tampa Bay gets a 4-3 right end to anchor this pass rush. Bradley Chubb will thrive in a 4-3 defense as a 4-3 only prospect. Tampa Bay is the perfect fit for Bradley Chubb. 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. A pass rushing tandem with Bradley Chubb at 4-3 right end and Noah Spence at 4-3 left end puts Tampa Bay's pass rushing unit on the map.
Denver Broncos: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
- Denver needs a new quarterback. Jared Goff, Carson Wentz, and Dak Prescott were my top 3 quarterbacks in the 2016 NFL Draft. Paxton Lynch the quarterback that was drafted behind Goff and Wentz was not someone I was high on initially. Paxton got injured in his first 2017 start.
- 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 officially accepted his invite to Mobile for the 2018 Senior Bowl.
New York Jets: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville
- Tony Mario believes the Josh Allen rumors to the Jets are smokescreen. I'm starting to believe that too. What the Jets do at quarterback entirely depends on whether Sam Darnold turns pro or not. If Darnold goes pro, I expect them to take Lamar Jackson at 8. If Darnold goes back to school then expect New York to address another position besides quarterback in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft.
- 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 3,489 passing yards, 25 passing touchdowns, 17 rushing touchdowns, 43 total touchdowns, and 6 interceptions in 2017. Lamar is a fantastic decision maker with elite duel threat ability and a 4.44 40-time which is why you see Jackson showcase his speed weekly. 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. Ryan Romero AKA the Draft Professor told us he's the top quarterback in the draft all Summer and he's done nothing to convince me that he has no business in the top 10.
San Francisco 49ers: Quenton Nelson, LG, Notre Dame
- The 49ers found their quarterback. They are 4-0 with Jimmy Garoppolo and he has more passing yards in his first four starts than Joe Montana and Steve Young combined. Joe Staley and Trent Brown can be a great left tackle and right tackle tandem when healthy. Both Laken Tomlinson and Zane Beadles have sucked equally at left guard. I was seriously considering Bradley Chubb here as a 4-3 right end with Solomon Thomas as a 4-3 left end, but getting Quenton Nelson for San Francisco is a way bigger priority at 8 since he's a blue chip left guard that makes Garoppolo's offensive line even stronger, plus I just can't see San Francisco spending four consecutive first round picks on the defensive line. Nelson only allowed 1 sack in 2017 as well as 3 quarterback pressures on 437 snaps. Nelson was also the best run blocking guard in the nation making him the safest offensive lineman to draft.
Chicago Bears: Roquan Smith, 3-4 MLB, Georgia
- Chicago gets a 3-4 middle linebacker at 9. Roquan Smith out of Georgia is a 6-1 225 lb middle linebacker that has dominated on tape as a three down pass rusher, run stuffer, and someone who dominates in coverage.
- 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 has played like a top 10 pick and has earned the right to be considered as Chicago's first round draft pick.
Cincinnati Bengals: Mike McGlinchey, LT, Notre Dame
- Cincinnati had needs at left tackle, free safety, and tight end heading into the 2018 NFL Draft. Mike McGlinchey is my top ranked offensive tackle followed by Chukwuma Okorafor at 2, and Connor Williams out of Texas at 3. Cincinnati is scouting Williams extensively which is why Ryan Romero mocked Williams to Cincinnati. I'm leaning Mike McGlinchey he's my favorite pass blocker and run blocker in this draft class. If McGlinchey struggles versus Arden Key in Notre Dame's bowl game, I'm not opposed to moving him down.
Oakland Raiders: Tremaine Edmunds, MLB, Virginia Tech
- The Oakland Raiders do need a middle linebacker if Navarro Bowman leaves the team. Tremaine Edmunds is a 6-5 250 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.
Miami Dolphins: Mark Andrews, TE, Oklahoma
- Miami found their running back in Kenyan Drake. They can take the best tight end in the 2018 NFL Draft with Oklahoma junior redshirt Mark Andrews here. Mark Andrews has 58 receptions, 906 receiving yards, and 8 receiving touchdowns in 2017. Andrews has superb route running at 6-5 254 lbs. Andrews has all the tools to replace Julius Thomas right now after winning the John Mackey Award for the top tight end in the nation.
Arizona Cardinals: Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
- Arizona needs a quarterback. My top two quarterbacks though are my only quarterbacks with second round grades. Mason Rudolph is a huge reach at 13 and my next best quarterback is Josh Allen. I still feel like Allen can jump Rudolph too if he impresses in Mobile.
- I also think there are two corners worth taking before any receiver. Iowa cornerback Josh Jackson goes to Arizona. He's picked off both Josh Allen and J.T. Barrett multiple times on tape this year. Jackson has 18 deflections from pass breakups and 7 interceptions in 2017. He fits Arizona's best player on the board by need philosophy. Him or Holton Hill would be an excellent pick for Arizona. I see Jackson providing more stability as a cornerback that compliments Patrick Peterson at 11 here with no quarterbacks worth taking here.
Washington Redskins: Derwin James, FS, Florida State
- The Redskins get the best player on the board in Derwin James. He fills a key void at free safety.
Green Bay Packers: Donte Jackson, CB, LSU
- The Packers don't have a single cornerback with 10 deflections on the roster. Damarious Randall leads the team with 9 deflections from pass breakups. Quenten Rollins has become a shadow of his former self. Kevin King is on injured reserve, and Davon House is tied with Kevin King for 5 deflections and his contract is up at the end of the year. The 5-11 175 lb Donte Jackson had 8 deflections from pass breakups and 2 interceptions in 2016. Jackson has 10 deflections from pass breakups in 2017 and has outstanding tape.
Los Angeles Chargers: Christian Wilkins, DT, Clemson
- The Chargers get a defensive tackle here. Christian Wilkins is the best overall player on the board at this point and pairing him with Corey Liuget at 4-3 defensive tackle makes total sense. Putting Wilkins with defensive ends like Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram takes this pass rush to a whole new level.
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