[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” overlay_color=”” video_preview_image=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” padding_right=””][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” center_content=”no” last=”no” min_height=”” hover_type=”none” link=””][fusion_text]By Noah Alvarez

The 2018 NFL Draft is upon us which has NFL fans across the nation anxious to see which of the top prospects their team is going to select. Like most people who follow the NFL closely, I enjoy reading mock drafts of different analysts and writers and seeing where they think certain prospects will land.

Given that I have done a considerable amount of research this offseason profiling draft prospects, I am going to play NFL General Manager for once and do a two-round mock draft based off of who I would select given the team’s draft needs. I will not be predicting any draft day trades. Check it out:

 

  1. Cleveland Browns – QB Sam Darnold, USC…Darnold is only 20 years old and because the Browns acquired Tyrod Taylor this offseason, they are not looking for an immediate starter. Darnold is a gunslinger, reminds me a lot of Jake Plummer, but Darnold played his best when the game was on the line in the final minutes. Of the top quarterbacks in this draft class, I think Darnold will finish his career with the most playoff wins.
  2. New York Giants – RB Saquon Barkley, Penn State…Barkley is a remarkable talent out at the running back position and the Giants have had trouble establishing a decent rushing attack the past three to four seasons. They have made upgrades to their offensive line this offseason and still believe they have a couple good years left in Eli Manning.
  3. New York Jets (from Indianapolis) – QB Josh Rosen, UCLA…Rosen is a natural pocket passer and may have the most accurate arm of this draft, but his durability and work ethic are big cause for concern. The Jets are a great franchise for Rosen to land with Todd Bowles as their head coach and Josh McCown and Teddy Bridgewater already on the roster. Rosen will not be expected to start day one but competing against the other two quarterbacks during the preseason should bring out the best in him.  
  4. Cleveland Browns (from Houston) – S Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama…Fitzpatrick is the most versatile defensive back in this draft class. He can line up at safety and be the deepest man in zone coverage, play man coverage against tight ends and slot receivers, be an effect blitzer and play up in the box and help in the run game.
  5. Denver Broncos – OG Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame…I know Denver needs a long term solution at quarterback but their offensive line play was atrocious last season! Case Keenum worked wonders with Minnesota last year so the first step should be protecting him.
  6. Indianapolis Colts (from New York Jets) – DE Bradley Chubb, NC State…Chubb may be the best overall player in this draft but because of all the quarterback needy teams picking at the top of the draft, Chubb has a good chance to slide. The Colts have a big need for a pass rusher.
  7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – CB Denzel Ward, Ohio State…The Bucs allowed the most passing yards allowed per game and need a desperate upgrade at the position. I would not be surprised if they traded down in the draft to stock up more picks.
  8. Chicago Bears – LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech…The Bears need to add more athleticism at the linebacker position and Edmunds is the prototypical modern-era linebacker. He has great speed, can blitz the quarterback and cover sideline to sideline in the ground game.
  9. San Francisco 49ers – LB Roquan Smith, Georgia…Smith is arguably the best linebacker in this draft and has the versatility to lineup inside or outside. With the recent trouble that Reuben Foster has gotten into, I would be very surprised if the 49ers did not take a linebacker here.
  10. Oakland Raiders – DT Vita Vea, Washington…Picking a defensive tackle is never sexy but the Raiders need help in the interior to ease the double teams off Khalil Mack. Vea is nasty defensive tackle that wreaked havoc both in the run and pass game and would be a great fit in Jon Gruden’s defense.
  11. Miami Dolphins – DT Da’Ron Payne, Alabama…The Dolphins are another team that I think trades down to stock up on picks. They released Ndamukong Suh this offseason so defensive tackle is a big need in Miami.
  12. Buffalo Bills – QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma…Picking a quarterback has to be the Bills number one priority in the first round of the draft this year. They sneaked into the playoffs last year with Tyrod Taylor leading the charge and bringing a guy like Mayfield would be an ideal fit this season. Mayfield is the ultimate competitor and I think he is the most starter ready quarterback in this draft class.
  13. Washington Redskins – OLB/DE Harold Landry, Boston College…Washington is in a tough situation where they have many holes to fill also so I think they are a likely candidate to trade back in the draft. They need an edge rusher that is also capable of helping out in the run game and Landry would be a great fit.
  14. Green Bay Packers – CB Josh Jackson, Iowa…The corners for the Packers last season were atrocious as they finished as the 10th worst passing defense. Jackson is a Marcus Peters-like corner that should help create turnovers for Green Bay’s defense.
  15. Arizona Cardinals – QB Lamar Jackson, Louisville…Jackson is an electrifying playmaker but may need a couple weeks to get NFL ready. The Cardinals signed Sam Bradford this offseason but given his injury history, Jackson might not have to wait an entire season to play.
  16. Baltimore Ravens – DE Sam Hubbard, Ohio State…The Ravens still have Terrell Suggs but they have to start preparing for a future without him. With the additions of Willie Snead and Michael Crabtree this offseason, I think they no longer look to take a receiver with this pick.
  17. Los Angeles Chargers – S Derwin James, Florida State..The Chargers have a surprisingly good roster despite missing the playoffs last season. Because of that, I think they have the luxury of taking the best player available at 17.
  18. Seattle Seahawks – OG/C Isaiah Wynn, Georgia…The Seahawks – whether they want to admit it or not – are going through a rebuilding process and a great rebuild starts with securing up an offensive line. Wynn is versatile enough to play three, potentially all five lineman positions.
  19. Dallas Cowboys – WR Calvin Ridley, Alabama…The release of Dez Bryant brings an immediate need at the receiver position and Ridley is the top receiver in this draft class.
  20. Detroit Lions – RB Derrius Guice, LSU…For as much hype Barkley has gotten this draft, the Guice hype train has been relatively quiet. He is as good, or even a better runner than Barkley but he is a liability in the passing game. But Guice is an angry runner and hard to bring down and if combined with Matthew Stafford and Golden Tate, that could be a scary trio in Detroit.
  21. Cincinnati Bengals – OG/C Billy Price, Ohio State…The center play was suspect last year for the Bengals and Price is a guy who can slide right into the starting rotation.
  22. Buffalo Bills – LB Rashaan Evans, Alabama…Buffalo is in need of an inside linebacker and Evans is a guy capable of starting day one. Evans led the Alabama defense with 74 tackles last season.
  23. New England Patriots (from Los Angeles Rams) – OT Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame…After losing starting left tackle Nate Solder this offseason in free agency, offensive tackle became the biggest need this offseason for the Patriots.
  24. Carolina Panthers – OG/C James Daniels, Iowa…Like the Patriots, the Panthers lost a starting offensive lineman in Andrew Norwell in free agency and Daniels would be a very capable replacement. Daniels is also versatile enough to play center and with Ryan Kalil stating that this is his final season, Daniels could potentially slide into center following this season.
  25. Tennessee Titans – EDGE/DE Marcus Davenport, UTSA…Davenport is a gifted pass rusher standing at 6’4” and dominated at the collegiate level. The Titans were pretty solid defensively but one area where they struggled was generating a pass rush and Davenport could very much help in that area.
  26. Atlanta Falcons – WR D.J. Moore, Maryland…The Falcons lost their speedy slot receiver Taylor Gabriel in free agency this offseason and Moore would be an excellent replacement in the offense.
  27. New Orleans Saints – S Justin Reid, Stanford…Reid is the younger brother of Eric Reid and grew up in Louisiana so it would be very fitting for the Saints to select the homegrown prospect with a need in their secondary.
  28. Pittsburgh Steelers – LB Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State…The injury to Ryan Shazier last season put an immediate need at the inside linebacker position and few prospects are as NFL ready as Vander Esch.
  29. Jacksonville Jaguars – WR Courtland Sutton, SMU…The Jaguars did not resign Allen Robinson or Allen Hurns this offseason so they are in need of a big bodied receiver. Sutton has flashed potential and some scouts say he could be as good as Alshon Jeffery.
  30. Minnesota Vikings – CB Jaire Alexander, Louisville…Terrance Newman is only getting older and there is a need for nickel cornerback on the Vikings defense. Alexander has ideal size and speed to be a nickel corner in the NFL and he has excellent ball skills.
  31. New England Patriots – TE Hayden Hurst, South Carolina…We know how much New England and Tom Brady love their tight ends. Rob Gronkowski looks like he is at the tail end of his career so Hurst could be the next Brady’s next favorite target.
  32. Philadelphia Eagles – OT Kolton Miller, UCLA…Jason Peters suffered a torn ACL last season and it showed a vulnerability at the offensive tackle position. Miller is a giant standing at 6’9” and despite his large size, he displayed very good athleticism and quickness at the NFL Combine.
  33. Cleveland Browns – DT Taven Bryan, Florida
  34. New York Giants – QB Josh Allen, Wyoming
  35. Cleveland Browns – CB Carlton Davis, Auburn
  36. Indianapolis Colts – DT Maurice Hurst, Michigan
  37. Indianapolis Colts – OT Connor Williams, Texas
  38. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – RB Ronald Jones II, USC
  39. Chicago Bears – CB Mike Hughes, UCF
  40. Denver Broncos – OG Will Hernandez, UTEP
  41. Oakland Raiders – WR Anthony Miller, Memphis
  42. Miami Dolphins – TE Dallas Goedert, South Dakota State
  43. New England Patriots – EDGE/OLB Lorenzo Carter, Ohio State
  44. Washington Redskins – CB Isaiah Oliver, Colorado
  45. Green Bay Packers – RB Sony Michel, Georgia
  46. Cincinnati Bengals – CB Donte Jackson, LSU
  47. Arizona Cardinals – OG Braden Smith, Auburn
  48. Los Angeles Chargers – QB Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State
  49. Indianapolis Colts – LB Josey Jewell, Iowa
  50. Dallas Cowboys – CB Quenton Meeks, Stanford
  51. Detroit Lions – EDGE/DE Josh Sweat, Florida State
  52. Baltimore Ravens – TE Mike Gesicki, Penn State
  53. Buffalo Bills – OT Chukwuma Okorafor, Western Michigan
  54. Kansas City Chiefs – S Ronnie Harrison, Alabama
  55. Carolina Panthers – S Jessie Bates III, Wake Forest
  56. Buffalo Bills – WR James Washington, Oklahoma State
  57. Tennessee Titans – WR Christian Kirk, Texas A&M
  58. Atlanta Falcons – DT Da’Shawn Hand, Alabama
  59. San Francisco 49ers – OLB Uchenna Nwosu, USC
  60. Pittsburgh Steelers –  S Kyzir White, West Virginia
  61. Jacksonville Jaguars – ILB Jerome Baker, Ohio State
  62. Minnesota Vikings – OT Brian O’Neil, Pittsburgh
  63. New England Patriots – DT Harrison Phillips, Stanford

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