We are hours away from what we have all been waiting for, The 2018 NFL Draft! All our mocks, projections and predictions get lit on fire as soon as that first pick is in. The anxiety, social media debating and claims of knowing who’s going where will all cease soon and instead we will be at each other’s throats over who our teams ACTUALY picked after all. Below is how I think the draft will shake out…and I’m probably wrong! Enjoy!
- CLEVELAND BROWNS – BAKER MAYFIELD, QB
The Browns start the Draft with their future Franchise QB. John Dorsey takes the charismatic signal-caller that is most ready to lead a team out of the depths of the NFL. Mayfield will be the spark that lights the fire in this franchise and helps rally their new acquisitions to dawn a new era in Cleveland football. Look for Baker to start behind Tyrod Taylor so he can learn and develop first.
- NEW YORK GIANTS – SAQUAN BARKLEY, RB
GM Dave Gettleman said he wants a “Gold Jacket” guy. Well I think there are two shoe-ins for that in this Draft. Barkley and Quentin Nelson. While the Giants could use the O-Line help, they instead opt for the running back to ease some of the pressure on an aging Eli Manning and help balance out this offense a little more.
- NEW YORK JETS – SAM DARNOLD, QB
The Jets get the cleanest QB prospect in the draft after trading up to the 3rd pick with Indy earlier in the offseason. Darnold’s cool and calm demeanor will be able to handle the pitfalls of the lights and glamour of New York. He also can sit back and learn and develop behind the likes of Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater.
- CLEVELAND BROWNS – BRADLEY CHUBB, DE
With their second pick in the first round the Browns go defense. Chubb is projected to be a force off the edge and pairing him with Myles Garret will have opposing offenses up late at night for years to come.
- BUFFALO BILLS** – JOSH ALLEN, QB
TRADE ALERT! The Buffalo Bills trade their two first round picks to get in the top 10 and select their preferred Quarterback. Josh Allen has a rocket for an arm and is built like brick house. His size and strength are ideal for Buffalo. Allen is a little raw but he can sit behind newly signed AJ McCarron until he’s ready. If he is developed properly, his potential is through the roof.
- INDIANPOLIS COLTS – ROQUAN SMITH, LB
The Colts, whom traded back from the 3rd pick originally with the Jets have two ways to go here, Quentin Nelson or Roquan Smith. I think they take Smith due to his leadership and their need for a defensive leader. The interior O-Line positions are slightly deeper in this class so they take the Georgia linebacker in hopes of turning their defense around.
- TAMPA BAY BUCCANEERS – DERWIN JAMES, S
The Bucs were not good vs the pass last season and they shore that right up with James. The FSU safety comes in as the dynamo of the defense and looks to help turn that side of the ball into a force.
- CHICAGO BEARS – QUENTIN NELSON, G
The Bears get a new Monster of the Midway in Nelson. This beast of a man is one of the cleanest prospects in the draft with one of the highest ceilings. The Bears need help keeping last year’s top pick, QB Mitch Trubisky, clean and they do so by making the Notre Dame lineman their top pick.
- ARIZONA CARDINALS** – JOSH ROSEN, QB
TRADE ALERT! The Cardinals lost QB Carson Palmer to retirement and signed incumbent Sam Bradford for the upcoming season. Bradford doesn’t have the greatest track record of staying healthy and Arizona’s line is not the best. They have a new Head Coach and they make a move here with San Francisco to get “their guy,” and to get ahead of Miami. Rosen is the most NFL-ready QB in this draft and can throw the ball better than anyone at the position.
- OAKLAND RAIDERS – MIKE MCGLINCHEY, OT
The second era of Jon Gruden in Oakland starts with one of the most solid prospects in the draft. McGlinchey is the top Offensive Tackle in this draft and is as clean as they come in terms of off the field and leadership. Gruden will now have a blue-chip guy protecting Derek Carr for years to come.
- MIAMI DOLPHINS – MINKAH FITZPATRICK, DB
Now, the moment most of us have been waiting for…The Miami Dolphins select Minkah Fitzpatrick. The Dolphins have a lot of needs this draft and Minkah fits what they are looking for. They could consider a QB, if Rosen fell or a linebacker like Edmunds but Fitzpatrick offers more schematic flexibility. Able to play Free Safety and Corner, he helps in areas where Miami is weak when it comes to coverages and disguising blitzes as well. Minkah matches up well as a coverage guy vs running backs and tight ends and it allows Reshad Jones and TJ McDonald to play more snaps at their traditional role of “Box Safety.”
- DENVER BRONCOS** – DENZEL WARD, CB
After trading back with Buffalo, Denver takes the best player available on their board, Denzel Ward. They traded away Aqib Talib this offseason and end up landing the #1 cornerback in the draft all the while acquiring more picks.
- WASHINGTON REDSKINS – VITA VEA, DT
The Redskins hold tight and grab the behemoth defensive tackle from University of Washington. Vea is a nimble 6’4 350lb lineman that will help Washington with its run defense. Much needed after the Giants took Barkley and the Eagles and Cowboys already have strong running games.
- GREEN BAY PACKERS – JAIRE ALEXANDER, CB
The Packers took a Cornerback early in the Draft last year and do the same this year. Giving them a bright future in the secondary.
- SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS** – TREMAINE EDMUNDS, OLB
John Lynch and Co. traded back with Arizona due to their desperation for a QB of the future and they still get their guy at 15. Edmunds is ONLY 19 years old and is a freakish athlete that can do almost anything. He improves their pass rush and their sub packages.
- BALTIMORE RAVENS – RASHAAN EVANS, LB
Ozzie Newsome goes back to the well of his Alma Mater and take Rashaan Evans. He will undoubtedly help fill their need for a hard-hitting playmaker at linebacker to pair with another former Bama standout, CJ Mosley.
- LOS ANGELES CHARGERS – DA’RON PAYNE, DT
The Chargers have one of the best pass rush tandems in Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram, the addition of Payne helps them get more pressure from the middle. Making their front seven that much more formidable for the upcoming season.
- SEATTLE SEAHAWKS – WILL HERNANDEZ, G
The Seahawks are in the process of a roster turnover, losing a lot of big names from their past successes. In round one they take one of the nastier interior lineman in Hernandez. This will help protect Russell Wilson and improve their subpar run game.
- DALLAS COWBOYS – CALVIN RIDLEY, WR
Jerry Jones let Dez Bryant go with leaves a huge hole to fill in the WR department. Ridley, the best all -around WR in the draft will help Dak Prescott develop further.
- DETROIT LIONS – MARCUS DAVENPORT, DE
Lions need to improve their pass rush and Davenport has loads of potential and should contribute right away.
- CINCINATTI BENGALS – LAMAR JACKSON, QB
WOW! Is what I’m expecting when this pick happens. Andy Dalton and Marvin Lewis continue to come up short. The Bengals bring in a playmaker at the QB position to challenge Dalton and maybe get him to take his game to another level.
- DENVER BRONCOS** – HAROLD LANDRY, DE
Denver, with their 2nd pick from the Buffalo trade adds an edge rusher to their team. Von Miller can’t do it all by himself and former first round pick Shane Ray has been underwhelming thus far.
- NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS – LEIGHTON VANDER ESCH, LB
The Pats need help at the Linebacker position and LvE is the best player on the board. Another physical freak with size and speed. Look for him to fit in nicely with the New England culture.
- CAROLINA PANTHERS – DJ MOORE, WR
While it seems like forever, the Panthers are still looking for Receiver help for their Franchise QB, Cam Newton. DJ Moore will try to become that guy.
- TENNESSEE TITANS – FRANK RAGNOW, C/G
The Titans have some needs, especially linebacker but instead of reaching they take the best value with Ragnow. He will help immediately with the interior O-Line play, able to fill in at Center or Guard.
- ATLANTA FALCONS – TAVEN BRYAN, DT
The Falcons need help on the inside of their defensive front, Taven Bryan fits the bill. Big and athletic, the former Florida Gator could be a day 1 starter for Atlanta.
- NEW ORLEANS SAINTS – CHRISTIAN KIRK, WR
The Saints lost Brandin Cooks last season and more recently lost Willie Snead to the Ravens. They added Cam Meredith from the Bears but he is coming off knee surgery. Kirk will fit nicely in the slot for Drew Brees and Co.
- PITTSBURGH STEELERS – SONY MICHEL, RB
The 2nd Running Back is off the board. The Steelers are at an impasse with Pro Bowl running back Le’Veon Bell and he could eventually walk into Free Agency. The Steelers take the UGA product as a 1-2 punch and possible future franchise back.
- JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS – DALLAS GOEDERT, TE
The Jags made it all the way to the AFC Championship game with Mercedes Lewis at TE. This offseason they sent him packing and have a hole at the position. With Goedert they get a playmaking TE, in the mold of a Travis Kelce, to help Blake Bortles.
- MINNESOTA VIKINGS – COURTLAND SUTTON, WR
The Vikes add another weapon to their offense to give new QB Kirk Cousins a big, fast target at the WR position to go with Stefon Diggs and Adam Theilen.
- NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS – MASON RUDOLPH, QB
Did you really think they would mortgage picks for a QB? Belichik and Co. are smarter than all of us, they hang back and take Rudolph to fill the void from when they traded away Jimmy Garoppolo to the 9ers.
- PHILADELPHIA EAGLES – HAYDEN HURST, TE
The Reigning Super Bowl Champs take a Tight End to pair with Zach Ertz after losing Trey Burton in Free Agency to round out the end of Round One.
Tune in to the Draft tonight and watch the drama unfold! Tweet me with your thoughts or opinions @MitchPr0 – Happy Draft Day!