It’s that time of the year where everyone releases their version of NFL Mock Draft 2018. Some of the different personalities here at A2D Radio teamed up to create our own version for the First Round. We split the picks up between us and we acted as if we were the General Managers.
Chux of BOF 1-4
1. Cleveland Browns – Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA – The Browns are most likely taking Sam Darnold, but since this mock draft is about what I would do as the team’s GM then I’d be picking the top QB on my board and that’s Rosen.
2. New York Giants – Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma – I’d try to trade down from this spot and grab Quenton Nelson a little later, but if I’m staying at #2 I need to take advantage of being this high in the draft and grab Eli’s future replacement.
3. New York Jets (via Colts) – Sam Darnold, QB, USC – There’s no way I’m not taking a QB after the trade that was made with the Colts, and Darnold is the next best guy on my board.
4. Cleveland Browns (via Texans) – Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State – I didn’t pick him at #1 because I’m already certain the Jets are picking a QB and I’m confident enough that the Giants will pass on him as well. It was between Barkley and Chubb here, but in the end, I had to take the best player available. EDGE rusher is the more valuable position but Barkley is just too much of a sure thing to pass up. Plus, I could maybe get Marcus Davenport in the early 2nd round.
I can’t get enough of Baker Mayfield’s film. He hits these downfield throws with regularity. If he can figure out the Happy Feet in the pocket he’s going to be a really, really good player in the NFL.
(Also really like No. 5 on this play. Super explosive receiver.) pic.twitter.com/HjjtOaRs0o
— Robert Reidell (@RobertReidell) March 30, 2018
Rob Brinkman of Sports Hounds 5-8
5. Denver Broncos – Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State – Ward projects as the best cover corner in the draft and will be a fine replacement for Talib who was traded to Los Angeles this. Hopefully the addition of Keenum on offense and Ward on defense the Bronocs can find themselves back in the playoffs.
6. Indianapolis Colts (via Jets) – Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame – I hate drafting a guard this early but it is imperative that the colts keep Andrew Luck healthy and on the field. Frank Reich saw firsthand last year how a dominant offensive line can carry a team. Hopefully the Colts can beef up their other skill positions later in the draft and light up score boards in 2018.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Derwin James, S, Florida State – James was a top 5 Heisman candidate entering the 2017 college football season but became an afterthought with Florida State underachieving. James can balance out the back end of a Tampa defense that has already added JPP, Vinny Curry, and Beau Allen to its d line.
8. Chicago Bears – Bradley Chubb, EDGE, NC State – The Bears are getting quite a bargain here by getting the best pass rusher in the draft at pick 8. Hopefully the Bears can pair Chubb with former top ten selection Leonard Floyd and return the Bears Defense to past glory.
— Safid Deen 💯💯💯💯 (@Safid_Deen) March 20, 2018
Tom Arnone of Agree 2 Disagree 9-12
9. San Francisco 49ers – Minkah Fitzpatrick, S, Alabama – John Lynch almost lucks out by having Chubb drop into his lap, but I think he’ll be OK knowing he got a steal in Fitzpatrick dropping to him. Minkah is that hybrid DB who can play both CB or S at the next level. While it’s not the biggest need John Lynch isn’t the type of GM to let this talent drop any more.
10. Oakland Raiders – Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia – Is there a more perfect player for the Raiders to draft than Roquan Smith? The National Semifinal Game vs Oklahoma saw Smith making plays all over the field. The drafts best linebacker is finally off the board.
11. Miami Dolphins – Tremaine Edwards, LB, Virginia – The Dolphins have let a lot of their veteran talent walk out the door this offseason. While finding a QB to groom behind Tannehill is probably priority #1 for Adam Gase the Dolphins can’t pass up the talent that Edwards brings to that defense. Like the 49ers with Fitztpatrick the Dolphins won’t let Edwards get past them.
12. Buffalo Bills (via Bengals) – Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming – The Bills are going to Bills. While Allen might have the physical skills, and have the prototypical look of today’s NFL QB he sure lacks the polish. However, if anyone has the tools to be effective in the weather up in Buffalo, Allen sure can.
— Dahl Erickson (@DahlErickson) March 22, 2018
Mike of Tom & Mike Am in the PM 13-16
13. Washington Redskins – Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville – With Bashaud Breeland a free agent and Kendall Fuller traded, the ‘Skins need major help in the secondary. Alexander excels in both press and zone coverages and has above-average ball skills. Alexander is a potential Top 5 pick so this is somewhat of a steal for Washington at #13.
14. Green Bay Packers – Harold Landry, EDGE, Boston College – The Packers have plenty of weapons on offense so they need to give new DC Mike Pettine’s defense a boost and that starts with the pass rush, especially in a division with Kirk Cousins, Matthew Stafford and Mitchell Trubisky.
15. Arizona Cardinals – Mason Rudolph, QB, Oklahoma State – The Cardinals added both Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon, but neither will be the long-term solution at quarterback. Rudolph is the best QB currently on the board and that’s Arizona’s pick.
16. Baltimore Ravens – Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama – With little depth at wide receiver beyond the recently signed Michael Crabtree, the Ravens need to develop talent at WR and Ridley may very well be the best WR in the draft. Ridley has game-changing talent complete with blazing speed and rare route-running ability for a college prospect (per NFL.com). He ran the full route tree at Alabama, has experience working in a pro-style attack and will be an immediate starter as a rookie.
One of my favorite things about Calvin Ridley is how naturally he transforms to a runner post-catch. Often already knows what he wants to do before he even completes the catch pic.twitter.com/3LfLt8AZDO
— Jon Ledyard (@LedyardNFLDraft) March 30, 2018
So dude named Mike Lipinski 17 -20
17. Los Angeles Chargers – Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame – The Chargers have a need to invest in their o-line to complement their skill players. McGlinchey is the best OL remaining on the board & could be a rock-solid OT for years to come.
18. Seattle Seahawks – Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa – The Seahawks are rebuilding their defense after destroying the Legion of Boom. Jackson, an athletic ball-hawking CB, fits the Seattle mold.
19. Dallas Cowboys – Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU – With the uncertainty of Dez Bryant’s future in Dallas & an aging Jason Whitten getting Dak Prescott a weapon is at the top of the Cowboys needs. Local prospect Sutton is a big WR with deceptive speed who can become an immediate weapon for Prescott.
20. Detroit Lions – Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA – Matt Patricia will look to make his mark on the Lions defense by selecting Davenport. The UTSA prospect is an explosive DE whose stock is quickly rising. His addition would immediately make Detroit a better defense.
— UTSA Football (@UTSAFTBL) March 29, 2018
Paulie Hudrick of BOF 21-23
21. Cincinnati Bengals (via Bills) – Connor Williams, T/G, Texas – The Bengals blew it when they Andrew Whitworth and Kevin Zeitler walk in 2017. The move to trade back with Buffalo for left tackle Cordy Glenn somewhat remedies that mistake. Taking Williams here should also help. Williams played well at left tackle for Texas in 2016 but struggled with injuries in 2017. Some project him as a guard. Either way, this is a fine pick for the Bengals.
22. Buffalo Bills (via Chiefs) – Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama – Recruited as a pass rusher, Evans turned himself into a damn good MLB. He has great size, athleticism and is a thumper when he arrives at the ball carrier. He’ll fit really well as a weakside ‘backer in Sean McDermott’s scheme and will excel as a blitzer.
23. Los Angeles Rams – D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland – Barring a trade for Odell Beckham Jr., I like the Rams to upgrade their weaponary around young QB Jared Goff in the draft. Moore is projected as a slot but his 4.42 speed should translate on the outside. He’s got a toughness to his game that I love. He’s lightning quick in and out of his breaks, has strong, reliable hands and is good after the catch.
Frank Vespe of The Phix 24-26
24. Carolina Panthers – Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M – Looking at Cam Newton’s arsenal going into the 2018 season is slim pickings once you go past Christain McCaffrey, Devin Funchess, and the recently acquired Torrey Smith. The Panthers need to address the wide reciever situation early in this draft. Kirk impressed many during his senior season with the Aggies with a 1,000+ yds, 8 tds, and 2 tds off of punt returns as well as his toughness and ability to adapt on the fly during games.
Panthers OC Norv Turner had DJ Moore run each of these routes at pro day. He seems to really like the Maryland WR. Rightfully so. pic.twitter.com/1AaOlANgsA
— TURRON DAVENPORT (@TDavenport_NFL) March 28, 2018
25. Tennessee Titans – Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State – Vanden Esch is considered to be one of the top prospects in the linebacker position who is being compared to the likes of Luke Kuechly, Karlos Dansby, and TJ Watt. Vanden Esch definitely has the knack to take care of both the pass and rush game. The Titans, with former linebacker Mike Vrabel now head coach and a corps that feature an aging Brian Orakpo, Vanden Esch will be in good company going in to 2018.
26. Atlanta Falcons – Vita Vea, DT, Washington – While the Falcons defense lost both Adrian Clayborn and Dontari Poe to free agency, the rest of the defense still manages to hold-up. Vea fits the mold as your typical 3-4 defender and adjust perfectly in Dan Quinn’s scheme. Vea also has the ability to stop the run, which with the likes of Alvin Kamara, Christian McCaffrey, and Mark Ingram putting up numbers in the NFC South, would definitely be a plus for the Falcons.
— NFL (@NFL) March 27, 2018
Ryan Brodo of The Phix 27-29
27. New Orleans Saints – Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State – The Saints’ interest in getting TE Jimmy Graham during this year’s free agency, while meeting with some of the top available TE prospects in the draft at the NFL Scouting Combine gives us a good hint on what’s on the Saints’ mind when entering the 1st round in the draft. Gesicki showed his speed after a 4.54 time 40-yard dash, which tied for first among tight ends at the Combine. He’s also widely regarded as one of the top athletic pass catchers at his position. Gesicki finished his college career with 129 catches for 1,481 yards + 15 TDs, averaging 11.5 yards per catch.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers – Malik Jefferson, LB, Texas – The crushing injury of Ryan Shazier made the existing need at inside linebacker even bigger. Even with the signing of Jon Bostic, the Steelers need improvement in the middle of the defense. With the offense pretty much set, they can use this offseason to continue to build the defense. LB Vander Esch would have been a great fit for the Steelers in the 1st round, but with him already off the board, Jefferson’s raw athleticism can’t be overlooked. If Pittsburgh is trying to find someone who can replicate Shazier athletically, Jefferson makes sense.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars – Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville – Blake Bortles doesn’t seem like he should be the long-term answer for Jacksonville but after the new contract, he is currently their guy. For Josh Jackson, he would need to land with an offense catered to his running ability, in order to start his rookie season. In Jacksonville, Lamar Jackson would have a chance to develop and eventually have the opportunity to become the full-time starter & future option of a team that has a top rushing attack & an established West Coast passing game.
— ⓂG (@mikegesicki) March 29, 2018
Greg Milakovic of A2D
30. Minnesota Vikings – Isaiah Wynn, OL, Georgia – I wanted to go tight end with this pick however i couldn’t pass up the chance to improve the offensive line that was used and abused by the Philadelphia Eagles. Wynn’s versatility allows him to possibly play multiple positions across the entire offensive line.
31. New England Patriots – Will Hernandez, OG, UTEP – Could have went in a few directions with this pick and don’t be shocked if Bill trades this pick. Was tempted to go CB or Safety but the strip sack from Brandon Graham continues to haunt Bill and the Patriots. Adding a piece to that offensive line and especiall the interior part is good much to pass up here at this pick
32. Philadelphia Eagles – Derrius Guice, RB, LSU – With the 32nd pick in the First Round of the NFL Draft the World Champion Philadelphia Eagles select Derrius Guice, RB, LSU. Was hoping to have the chance to take Gesicki at this pick but he’s obviously gone and I couldn’t find the value at Linebacker to reach at this point with Vander Esch and Jefferson of the board. Having the #2 ranked RB fall into the World Champion Philadelphia Eagles’ laps at 32 is a great pick up for the DEFENDING Super Bowl Champs.
LSU RB Derrius Guice is visiting the #Eagles on Friday.
Talk about a potential value pick at No. 32. pic.twitter.com/RrwU2iOIfa
— Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) March 15, 2018
Our own Charles Maranan created his Top 40 Board in which we all used as a reference for the First Round selections.