Not Your Average 2018 NFL Mock Draft

I put this together based on team needs and my personal liking to how the player fits with the team that drafted him.

1. Cleveland Browns- Who they will select: Sam Darnold, QB, USC

Who they could select: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn St.

Analysis: Barkley is the best RB prospect since Ezekiel Elliott and may not be available at the Browns’ number four overall pick. Although Darnold is a young prospect with a high-ceiling (not yet 21), he has only been a college starter for two years.

2. New York Giants- Who they will select: Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn St.

Who they could select: Bradley Chubb, DE, N.C. State

Analysis: Barkley will take some of the pressure off an aging Eli Manning and open up the passing game for OBJ and company. Chubb would replace the departed Jason Pierre-Paul.

3. New York Jets- Who they will select: Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma

Who they could select: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

Analysis: The 2017 Heisman Trophy winner has overcome the odds winning starting jobs as a walk on at Texas Tech then Oklahoma after he transferred due to injury. While Mayfield has made some questionable decisions on and off the field, he acknowledges and has learned from his mistakes. Mayfield has what it takes to survive the limelight and pressures of New York.

4. Cleveland Browns- Who they will select: Bradley Chubb, DE, N.C. State

Who they could select: Minkah Fitzpatrick, CB, Alabama

Analysis: Had the Browns taken Barkley, they would have either Darnold, Mayfield, UCLA’s Josh Rosen, or Wyoming’s Josh Allen to choose from here giving them their qb and rb of the future. While not their biggest area of need, the Browns grab the draft’s best pass rusher to team with last year’s first overall pick, Myles Garrett. Not a bad consolation.

5. Denver Broncos- Who they will select: Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA

Who they could select: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio St. or Minkah Fitzpatrick, CB, Alabama

Analysis: If GM John Elway sees Rosen still on the board, he will make sure his name is taken to the podium within a minute. Rosen, like Elway when he entered the league, tends to rub some people the wrong way which is why he will be only the third qb taken despite having the best overall skill set. Ward would replace Aquib Talib who joined the Los Angeles Rams this offseason.

6. Indianapolis Colts- Who they will select: Minkah Fitzpatrick, CB, Alabama

Who they could select: Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame

Analysis: Some consider Nelson the top ranked player in this draft and he would be a huge addition to the Colts’ O-line. Yet. Fitzpatrick upgrades their league-worst pass defense from last season and gives the Colts the flexibility to use him at corner or safety.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Who they will select: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio St.

Who they could select: Nelson or Derwin James, S, Florida St.

Analysis: After missing out on Fitzpatrick, Ward helps the Buccaneers’ abysmal cornerback situation. Nelson and James would be upgrades as well.

8. Chicago Bears- Who they will select: Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame

Who they could select: Nelson

Analysis: The Bears are able to add Nelson to a weak offensive line to help second-year signal-caller Mitch Trubisky and the running game led by baller Jordan Howard.

9. San Francisco 49ers- Who they will select: Derwin James, S, Florida St.

Who they could select: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

Analysis: James, the top safety prospect, is too good to pass up. Smith could be in play here due to the recent troubles of LB Reuben Foster.

10. – Oakland Raiders- Who they will select: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

Who they could select: Smith or Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech

Analysis: Smith gives the Raiders the top linebacker in the draft. He has great speed and plays sideline to sideline. Edmunds would be an excellent fit as well.

11. Miami Dolphins- Who they will select: Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming

Who they could select: Allen

Analysis: Allen falls to the Fins as the fourth quarterback off the board. They should be nervous about the Bills, or a few other teams, trading ahead of them to get Allen.

12. Buffalo Bills- Who they will select: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech

Who they could select: Edmunds or Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

Analysis: Disappointed at not getting Allen, the Bills draft the versatile Edmunds who can play either middle or outside backer. Edmunds’ comes from a family of excellent athletic genes as his father was a NFL tight end for seven years, mother ran track in college, brother Trey is a running back for the Saints, and brother Terrell is a safety prospect in this year’s draft.

13. Washington Redskins- Who they will select: Vita Vea, DT, Washington

Who they could select: Taven Bryan, DL, Florida or Da’Ron Payne, DL Alabama

Analysis: Washington’s d-line was horrific last season. Adding the 347 lb. run stuffer should help this defense improve in both passing and run defense as Vea can also get to the quarterback.

14. Green Bay Packers- Who they will select: Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama

Who they could select: Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame or Mike Hughes, CB, UCF

Analysis: The Pack could use a wide receiver after releasing fan favorite, Jordy Nelson. Ridley is considered the top receiver in this class and brings a winning mentality to a storied NFL franchise.

15. Arizona Cardinals- Who they will select: Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA

Who they could select: Mike Hughes, CB, UCF or DJ Moore, WR, Maryland

Analysis: The Cardinals could use help in the secondary, but opt to protect newly- signed and injury-prone qb Sam Bradford. Louisville’s Lamar Jackson or Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph are tempting as quarterback of the future options here.

16. Baltimore Ravens- Who they will select: DJ Moore, WR, Maryland

Who they could select: Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma St.; Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

Analysis: Michael Crabtree is the Ravens’ new number one receiver. While the has a nose for the endzone, Moore’s speed can stretch the defense and open up the running game.

17. Los Angeles Chargers- Who they will select: Da’Ron Payne, DL Alabama

Who they could select: Taven Bryan, DL, Florida or Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama

Analysis: Adding Payne on the defensive line between edge rushers Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram would make them one of the best defensive lines in the NFL. If the Chargers would prefer adding to a different tier of their defense, Evans would be an excellent fit at linebacker.

18. Seattle Seahawks- Who they will select: Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville

Who they could select: Harold Landry, DE, Boston College; Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA

Analysis: After trading DE Michael Bennett and releasing CB Richard Sherman, the Seahawks could add either position. Alexander ran a 4.38 at the combine and is a former wide receiver who uses his knowledge of the wr position when playing corner.

19. Dallas Cowboys- Who they will select: Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama

Who they could select: Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise St. or Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU

Analysis: The Cowboys lost linebacker Anthony Hitchens via free agency so linebacker is a big priority considering the injury history of star linebacker Sean Lee. With the release of wide receiver Dez Bryant, the Cowboys could be looking for his heir apparent.

20. Detroit Lions- Who they will select: Harold Landry, DE, Boston College

Who they could select: Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA or Will Hernandez, OG, UTEP

Analysis: Landry really impressed at the combine and would be a helpful addition to defensive end Ziggy Ansah. No matter who they draft at running back, the Lions can never seem to have a strong running game so adding Hernandez on the defensive line would be a strong addition as well.

21. Cincinnati Bengals- Who they will select: Will Hernandez, OG, UTEP

Who they could select: Mike Hughes, CB, UCF

Analysis: Hernandez would help open running lanes for second-year back Joe Mixon. Hughes is a talented corner who can also help in the return game.

22. Buffalo Bills- Who they will select: Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma St.

Who they could select: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

Analysis: The Bills could choose between two strong college quarterbacks who can watch from the sidelines for a few years behind new quarterback addition AJ McCarron.

23. New England Patriots- Who they will select: Mike Hughes, CB, UCF

Who they could select: Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise St.

Analysis: Coach Belichick finds his replacement for Malcolm Butler. Vander Esch is a hardworking player that Belichick loves.

24. Carolina Panthers- Who they will select: Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA

Who they could select: Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU

Analysis: Davenport falls to the Panthers as a replacement for the released Julius Peppers. Sutton would be a nice young receiver who creates separation for quarterback Cam Newton.

25. Tennesee Titans- Who they will select: Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise St.

Who they could select: Justin Reid, S, Stanford or Sam Hubbard, DE, Ohio St.

Analysis: The Titans could use an edge rusher or safety, but opt for Vander Esch who was the Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year.

26. Atlanta Falcons- Who they will select: Taven Bryan, DL, Florida

Who they could select: Anthony Miller, WR, Memphis or Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota St.

Analysis: There is a need for a DT now that Dontari Poe signed with division rival, Carolina. quarterback wide receiver Matt Flynn could use replacements for WR Taylor Gabriel and TE Levine Toilolo.

27. New Orleans Saints- Who they will select: Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota St.

Who they could select: Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina

Analysis: Goedert is the top-ranked tight end with Hurst right behind.  With a strong defense, Coach Payton gets quarterback Drew Brees a new toy.

28. Pittsburgh Steelers- Who they will select: Josey Jewell, LB, Iowa

Who they could select: Fred Warner, LB, BYU or Justin Reid, S, Stanford

Analysis: Jewell was a three-year starter at middle linebacker for the Hawkeyes and has been compared to Sean Lee of the Dallas Cowboys. He would fill the void left by Ryan Shazier’s injury.

29. Jacksonville Jaguars- Who they will select: Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville

Who they could select: Fred Warner, LB, BYU

Analysis: Imagine Jackson in the Jags’ offense with RB Leonard Fournette. Bortles can be released next year while Jackson learns the ropes at the NFL level.

30. Minnesota Vikings- Who they will select: Isaiah Wynn, OG, Georgia

Who they could select: Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa or Justin Reid, S, Stanford

Analysis: The Vikings get a steal with Wynn falling to them late in the first round. He would be able to protect their big free agent prize in quarterback, Kirk Cousins.

31. New England Patriots- Who they will select: Connor Williams, OT, Texas

Who they could select:

Analysis: The Patriots fill another hole as Williams moves into a starting role for Nate Solder who joined the NY Football Giants during the offseason.

32. Philadelphia Eagles- Who they will select: Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina

Who they could select: Fred Warner, LB, BYU

Analysis: The Eagles are solid across the board. TE Trey Burton left in free agency so Hurst would be just another option in an already potent offense. Warner would add depth to their linebacker core with Jordan Hicks routinely struggling with injuries.

There you have it. I based these choices based on what I would do not what will most likely happen. Trades and draft reaches will blow our minds.

And that’s as I see it!

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Twitter handle: @Mikulski_Scott

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