The 2018 NFL Draft is upon us, so it is time to put out the final edition of our mock draft. The trade rumors have been swirling at record speeds over the past 48 hours, so here is our take on everything as we count down to 8:00pm EST.
#1 Cleveland Browns – QB Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma
I have no clue. Seriously, I don’t. The last time we were this late in the process and didn’t know who the first pick was going to be was in 2006 when Mario Williams signed a contract with the Texans the night before the draft, ending the Mario vs. Reggie Bush vs. Vince Young debate. And I don’t think it is going to leak either. Dorsey hasn’t told his wife, Hue Jackson, or his team. He probably told Jimmy Haslam, but I don’t think Haslam would be a leaker.
It was over. Seriously, I thought this was settled. Peter King wrote that a guy he trusts that is right a lot says it is Darnold. McShay said the pick is Allen, and then that was followed up with Dan Patrick and Dustin Fox saying it was either Allen or Mayfield, but I just trusted Peter King the most.
Then Mary Kay Cabot came out and said the Browns have “cooled” on Darnold and the pick is going to be between Allen and Mayfield. I know I have recently talked about how much I can’t stand a particular article of Cabot’s for its utter transparency, but she is one of the best, and most clued in, beat writers around the NFL.
The fact we don’t know is both exciting and infuriating. I have had Darnold here in my previous two editions, so if I switch at the buzzer and get it wrong I am going to be pissed.
I had Allen until about an hour ago. Seriously. I got back from the gym and the entire planet is saying it is going to be Mayfield. The entire planet is a collection of people that includes Mary Kay Cabot having made up her mind that the pick is going to be Mayfield. I’m not a fan of jumping on a media wave at peak lying season, but what do the Browns gain from lying? The thing I am most skeptical about is that if Dorsey hasn’t told Hue Jackson, Jimmy Haslam, or his own wife, then who the hell is leaking this information? All this reporting could just be speculation without anyone talking to a reporter that is actually in the know.
Sometimes, though, where the is smoke, there is fire.
#2 New York Giants – RB Saquon Barkley, Penn State
It is causing me physical pain to mock Barkley to the Giants. I was debating writing an article about why the Giants should absolutely not draft Saquon Barkley, and I guess I still might, but feel free to read why this is a terrible idea from Bill Barnwell and FiveThirtyEight’s Scott Kacsmar.
New York should, 1000%, take a quarterback here. If they don’t then they should trade this pick to the highest bidder, with my personal preference being with Buffalo for the largest trade package since the RGIII trade.
Interestingly enough, Brandon Beane just said he thinks he has the draft capital to move up without trading future picks. Also of note, the Giants want the earth, the stars, and the moon for this pick.
Darnold being available complicates things here. It seems Darnold would be the only quarterback the Giants would consider taking, and Beane has admitted he sees one quarterback in this draft as “a franchise guy,” and I think that guy is Darnold. So, if Darnold is available, it will increase the Giants interest in keeping the pick while simultaneously increasing the Bills’ desire to trade for this pick. My god I wish I could spend Thursday night in the Giants war room.
Anyway, I want to project a trade here, or that Gettleman comes to his senses and takes Darnold, but I am not confident enough in either thing happening. Maybe Beane caves and ships out an astronomical amount of draft capital to get up here and take Darnold (or whoever the Browns don’t take), but Gettleman, and all of the reporting, is sending out the signal that they are locked in on Barkley.
I am reminded of the Titans in 2015, when they held the second pick and multiple teams were attempting to move up to get Mariota. I tried to find the video clip and failed, but on the pre-draft show, I believe it was Ed Werner who reported on the trade talks between Tennessee and other teams, and said, “I’m told the Titans are asking for the earth, the moon, the sun and the stars. They’re asking for so much that teams are saying it’s clear they just want to keep the pick and be done with it.” Something along those lines.
#3 New York Jets – QB Sam Darnold, USC
You have probably seen infinity reports lately that the Jets are going to take Baker Mayfield if available here. I believe if Darnold is gone that will be the case. The team rushed Darnold in at the deadline for a meeting with him. This actually gives credence to the idea that the Browns are taking not Darnold. It seems like this whole time the Jets were operating under the assumption that Darnold wouldn’t get to their pick, then got an inside tip, and decided to do the due diligence.
We all know what position is going 3rd, it is just a matter of who. I think the Jets QB board goes 1. Darnold 2. Mayfield 3. Rosen. Apparently there is a late push in the Jets’ war room for Rosen. I’m sure it is true, Rosen is the best fit for Bates’ offense, so the late push by some people with voices in the room makes sense. There is just too much Darnold/Mayfield talk to ignore. Sure, it could all be smoke and the team is dying to draft Rosen, but sometimes where the is smoke there is fire.
#4 Cleveland Browns – Edge Bradley Chubb, N.C. State
It is also causing me pain to not project the Browns trading this pick. They should absolutely trade this pick, especially if Buffalo fails in its attempt to get to #2. They can probably get #12, #22, and #53 at least in a move down. The Browns have no shortage of needs, so despite already having 5 picks in the top 64 already, the extra picks will still be useful.
I just think Dorsey will end up wanting Chubb more than he wants a trade. Buffalo could make him an offer he can’t refuse. Arizona could possibly do the same, since they apparently are pissed they were not proactive in 2017 and missed out on both Mahomes and Watson. But I have seen that “sources” don’t think Dorsey will trade out of this spot and McShay is saying if Chubb or Barkley is available at this pick the Browns will be sprinting to the podium.
Additionally, my educated guess is that Bradley Chubb is the highest rated non-quarterback on the Browns board. If for some reason both Chubb and Barkley are available at this pick, I think the Browns will opt for Chubb. Dorsey doesn’t value running backs this highly, and has a track record of seeking premium positions in the first round. His four first round picks in Kansas City were spent on a left tackle, pass rusher, corner, and quarterback. He also found the 2017 NFL rushing leader in the 3rd round of the 2017 NFL Draft.
If Dorsey doesn’t trade this pick, he can walk away with his favorite quarterback and his top rated player overall.
#5 *TRADE Cardinals send #15, #47, 2019 1st rounder to Broncos for #5*
Arizona Cardinals (F/DEN) – QB Josh Rosen, UCLA
There are plenty of reports about the Cardinals trying to move up for a quarterback. They are normally linked to Mayfield and then to a lesser extent Allen. Mayfield is gone, and they may avoid Allen due to the tweets that have emerged from when he was 15. It would also make sense for them to target Rosen, as he is the most pro-ready quarterback in the draft, and the Cardinals cannot rationally be relying on Sam Bradford to play 16 games this season. Also, they cannot rationally be considering playing Mike Glennon.
Whoever the Cardinals do take, it kind of blows since the offensive line is such a mess. I hope for whoever’s sake it ends up being that they are able to sit behind Bradford and Glennon all year and don’t get David Carr-ed. It doesn’t help the Cardinals have to give up their second rounder either.
So why does Elway take the Cardinals trade instead of what the Bills are offering? Beane apparently doesn’t want to give up future picks, and Elway is betting that the Cardinals 2019 first rounder is more valuable than #22, since Arizona may be the worst team in its division. At a minimum, they have the worst starting quarterback. Plus the second rounder Arizona is offering is higher.
I am also unconvinced Elway won’t take a quarterback. I know there are recent reports the team is hoping for Chubb, Darnold, or Mayfield, so this isn’t exactly ground breaking, but I think Elway may just sit here and take Josh Rosen.
#6 *TRADE Bills send #12, #22, #56 to Colts for #6*
Buffalo Bills (F/IND) – QB Josh Allen, Wyoming
Finally, the Bills get a trade done. The Colts have interest in moving down again, and believe there are 8 top tier non-quarterbacks in the draft. If that is true, the Colts saw three quarterbacks go ahead of them and know Buffalo is coming up for the 4th. Here the Colts drop back to 12, with 4 quarterbacks off the board by the 6th pick. 12-4=8.
I’m not sure how much I need to really explain this. The Bills desire to move up is well known, and three of the big four are already off the board. Plus, the Colts are motivated to move down. The dots are there. I’ve heard the Bills really like Allen, and with no other options they ignore all this Twitter stuff and draft him.
#7 Tampa Bay Buccaneers – OG Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame
With both Nelson and James available this was a nightmare to predict. I know that the Buccaneers are in love with both. I’ve just seen it more often that they really hope Nelson gets to them, and it makes sense. Koetter, and probably Litch, are on the hot seat. The defense definitely needs attention, but Jameis needs to remain upright if the Bucs are going to win enough games to save jobs this year while trapped in the most competitive division in football.
Nelson is a plug and play All-Pro, and I’m not exaggerating. Not only does he protect Jameis, but seeing as how the Bucs have the worst running back depth chart in the league, they should invest in just blowing open running lanes for their backs (or new second round rookie).
#8 Chicago Bears – LB Roquan Smith, Georgia
With Nelson off the board I think this pick comes down to Smith and Ward. I also believe Pace will explore moving down, but I don’t see a clear trading partner. If one of the quarterbacks gets to this pick that would make things easier.
I’m going with Smith over Ward here because of instant impact. Rookie corners tend to struggle, despite Lattimore and White bucking that trend last season. Smith is a plug and play impact starter who fits a need. Ward also fits a need, and in a division with Rodgers, Stafford, and Cousins you can use plenty of corners, but it isn’t as pressing a need.
#9 San Francisco 49ers – S Derwin James, Florida State
I thought the Reuben Foster situation was going to force the 9ers hand here, but I guess the matter has been resolved. Tony Pauline and Albert Breer have both reported that Edmunds is a guy the 9ers covet, so they could still take him as an insurance policy. I have also seen the 9ers linked to Fitzpatrick, who makes sense, but I believe they will go with Derwin James.
Kyle Shanahan was in Atlanta to watch the impact Keanu Neal had on that defense. He may end up viewing James as a gassed up Neal. John Lynch is a former NFL safety and may just fall in love with the idea of what James could become. Lastly, 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh spent 2011-2013 as the defensive quality control coach for the Seahawks, and spent 2014-2016 working under Gus Bradley. Derwin James gets a lot of Kam Chancellor comparisons, so if anyone can envision how James could play such a role in a defense similar to Seattle’s, it’s Saleh.
#10 Oakland Raiders – LB Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech
I keep seeing both Tremaine Edmunds and Vita Vea for this pick if Roquan Smith is off the board. So, here we are, with Edmunds still on the board. Apparently the Packers are looking to move up to get their hands on Denzel Ward or Derwin James, and Gruden has expressed a willingness to move down, so look out for some action at this pick.
#11 Miami Dolphins – DB Minkah Fitzpatrick
The Dolphins appear to be in good position here. I don’t believe they are going to move up for a quarterback and the odds are solid that four quarterbacks go off the board before they pick. Add in Barkley, Chubb, and Nelson as locks to go before this pick, and it is probable that one of Fitzpatrick, Derwin, Roquan, and Edmunds will be here.
All four of those players address a need and would arguably be the best player available at this pick. The Dolphins seem content to just sit here and take whoever is the highest remaining among those four on their board.
#12 Indianapolis Colts (F/BUF/CIN) – CB Denzel Ward, Ohio State
Just give Chris Ballard executive of the year now. If the Bills trade happens, then in combination with the Jets trade, Ballard will have profited a projected 47.3 points of draft capital with these two trades down the board, according to the Chase Stuart draft chart, and still land the top cover corner in the draft.
Basically, Ballard will have taken the 3rd pick, and turned it into #12, #22, #37, #42 (2019 projected), #49, and #56. The 47.3 points of profited draft capital would be the only amount to come anywhere near the same galaxy as to what the Rams got for RGIII six years ago.
#13 Washington – DT Vita Vea, Washington
Reports are coming out that Washington prefers Da’Ron Payne to Vita Vea at this pick, but there are still some outlets saying Vea is the guy. I have had this pick in every single edition of my mock, so if I change it now and the team takes Vea I will be absolutely livid.
I know it was 2016, but I have never been able to get the imagine of the Carolina Panthers absolutely slamming the ball down Washington’s throat in the run game, in a game Washington had to win to get into the playoffs. It was week 15, and had Washington won out the last three games they would have made the postseason. Instead, the Panthers rushed for 148 yards as Washington was helpless against Jonathan Stewart.
Washington spent their first round pick on Jonathan Allen in 2017, but it wasn’t enough. They still ranked 29th in rush defense DVOA and allowed a league worst 134 rushing yards per game on defense.
#14 Green Bay Packers – CB Josh Jackson, Iowa
Tony Pauline has said that the Packers are considering trading up for either Derwin James or Denzel Ward if they get within striking distance, and also that “people familiar with the situation” say Green Bay will choose between Josh Jackson and Minkah Fitzpatrick at this pick. Regardless, it seems like you can lock the Packers into a defensive back here, even though I think they would be better served taking a pass rusher in Davenport or Landry.
Anyway, I don’t have the Packers moving up to get James or Ward, even though they both fall close to this pick. Also, out of Fitzpatrick and Jackson, Jackson is the only one available. So, by process of elimination, the pick is Jackson. It hits a massive need and Jackson is the best defensive back available here.
#15 Denver Broncos (F/ARI) – Edge Marcus Davenport, UTSA
Elway likes to have plenty of pass rushers on his defense, and should Chubb get to #5 he is going to strongly consider pulling the trigger. Davenport may be raw, but Elway has confidence in his coaching staff to tap into his potential and form quite the duo with Von Miller.
#16 Baltimore Ravens – QB Lamar Jackson, Louisville
I was one of the first people to connect Jackson to the Ravens, and now it is a pretty popular topic of conversation. I’m sorry if I am tooting my own horn here, but I’m normally pretty humble and this makes me feel pretty good. Considering I drew the connection based on zero conversations with anyone that works in the NFL, but instead based on logic, it’s pretty cool to see people like Albert Breer tweeting about it.
This is Ozzie Newsome’s last draft and I believe he will want to set up the franchise to have sustained success after he leaves. One way to do that is to find a successor for Joe Flacco.
I also find Baltimore to be a good situation for Jackson. I’m sure you have read by now that Jackson’s NFL success will depend on the coach staff, and specifically the offensive coordinator, that he lands with. I think Baltimore has the ingredients to be the correct staff.
If anyone has a close tie to someone that knows how to utilize a dual threat quarterback in the NFL, I think it is Jon Harbaugh. Because of this, Harbaugh is probably one of the few coaches completely unafraid to build his offense around Jackson, instead of trying to make Jackson something he is not.
Also, consider that Marty Mornhinweg spent 2003 – 2012 working under Andy Reid. In every single one of those seasons Donovan McNabb or Michael Vick was on the Eagles’ roster. In fact, the two best QBR seasons of Vick’s career, marks of 65.0 and 60.9, came in 2010 and 2011, respectively, when Mornhinweg was the offensive coordinator.
We have recently seen Andy Reid embrace and deploy spread/read/college principals in the Kansas City offense in 2017, and saw another Reid disciple, Doug Pederson, win a Super Bowl embracing those principals.
#17 Los Angeles Chargers – OT Mike McGlinchey, Notre Dame
Everyone is plugging in a defensive player here, specifically a nose tackle or a linebacker, and I get it. However, considering how shakey the offensive tackle class is, I think the Chargers will just grab the best one on the board, help protect Rivers through his twilight years, and then address the defense during the rest of the draft.
Offensive tackle is perhaps the biggest area of need for the Chargers and they get to hand select their favorite one here. The Chargers could opt for the upside of Connor Williams to play left tackle or take the safe bet that McGlinchey offers in that he probably needs to be a right tackle but will be a really good right tackle.
When you have Von Miller, Khalil Mack, and Justin Houston running down Philip Rivers from all over the place, you need protection everywhere. The Chargers opt for the safe route.
#18 *TRADE Falcons send #26, #90, #244 for #18*
Atlanta Falcons (F/SEA) – DT Taven Bryan, Florida
I have projected the Falcons to trade up to this pick in every edition of these. Seattle is going to trade down because they shipped out picks in the Sheldon Richardson and Duane Brown trades, and also have consistently traded down in the Scheinder/Carroll era.
The past few times I had Atlanta coming up for Da’Ron Payne. Right position, wrong player. The Falcons apparently love Taven Bryan, and considering how much Dan Quinn values quickness and speed on his defense, it makes a lot of sense. Plus, coming up to #18, right in front of Dallas and Detroit, makes sense to secure Bryan’s services.
#19 Dallas Cowboys – LB Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State
When Dez Bryant was on the roster I consistently projected the Cowboys to take a wide receiver. They can have their pick of the litter here, Dez is gone, and I have them going in another direction. What gives?
Two things: The value of second round wide receivers is much superior to the second round linebackers, as there is a huge linebacker drop off after the top four. And more importantly, the Cowboys think Vander Esch is Brian Urlacher 2.0. If that is actually true, there is no way Dallas passes on him.
#20 Detroit Lions – Edge Harold Landry, Boston College
I think Landry should go higher than this. He dominated in 2016, played through an ankle injury in 2017 before missing time, and then blew up the combine. I don’t see Matt Patricia, who will value Landry’s potential versatility, passing on Landry here. Paul Pasqualoni, Landry’s defensive line coach at Boston College, is joining Patricia’s staff this season as defensive coordinator.
#21 Cincinnati Bengals (F/BUF) – C Frank Ragnow, Arkansas
I am torn between Ragnow and James Daniels here. I think it is going to be one or the other. I previously have gone with a corner at this pick, which I still think is an option, but apparently the Bengals like all three centers – Ragnow, Daniels, and Billy Price – and are leaning toward taking their favorite one at this pick.
#22 Indianapolis Colts (F/BUF/KC) – OT Kolton Miller, UCLA
I don’t think I need to explain the philosophy of investing in protecting Andrew Luck.
I am not a fan of Miller. He is getting too hyped. His level of play just doesn’t deserve first round consideration. The false step that he takes on every single snap is nothing short of alarming, and I’ve read coaches saying that is one of the most difficult things to correct in a player. At least with the Colts Miller will be on the right side as opposed to the left.
But Miller will end up being a first round pick due to his athleticism and upside. Some coaches will believe they are the one that will be able to unlock all that potential and make him a tremendous player. It certainly is possible. Miller is going to go in the first round, so I needed to find a spot for him. This is logical.
#23 New England Patriots (F/LAR) – OT Connor Williams, Texas
This reminds me of the Dominique Easley pick in 2014. Belichick ignored the injuries because Easley had top 15 tape and the Patriots needed an interior pass rush. Williams wasn’t outstanding in 2017 and then suffered an injury that ended his season prematurely, but his 2016 tape shows a top 12 pick.
Some teams think Williams will have to move to guard in the NFL due to his arm length, but Belichick disagrees (I speak to him regularly). I don’t think he is going to be comfortable going into camp with the offensive tackle situation the way it is at present. Perhaps if Belichick had a better handle on what he had in Antonio Garcia this wouldn’t be such a pressing matter, but that isn’t the reality in which we live.
With Jacksonville and Minnesota picking directly in front of the Patriots pick at #31, Belichick locks up Williams now.
A name to keep in mind here (or #31 I guess), that isn’t often connected to the Patriots: Ohio State’s Sam Hubbard.
#24 Carolina Panthers – OL James Daniels, Iowa
There are a few defensive backs on the board that the Panthers may take, or they could just grab Calvin Ridley, but they really need to solve the interior of their offensive line. Norwell left for a big money deal and Ryan Kalil is retiring after 2018. Daniels is a center by trade but has the ability to transition to guard. Whatever gets the five best guys on the field.
#25 Tennessee Titans – WR Calvin Ridley, Alabama
All indications are that the Titans are going to take the top defensive front seven player with this pick. That is the most likely outcome here. But, Tennessee is probably not expecting Calvin Ridley to be available. Receiver isn’t a pressing need, but Decker made basically no contribution last season, and new offensive coordinator Matt LaFleur can probably envision some exciting ways to utilize Ridley.
#26 *TRADE Colts send #36, #104 to Seattle for #26*
Indianapolis Colts (F/SEA/ATL) – LB Rashaan Evans, Alabama
If the Colts do trade with the Bills and pick up another second rounder, they will have four picks in the second round. Ballard decides to get a little aggressive with all that draft ammo and move up to get someone he really likes.
If the Colts stick at #6, one of their primary targets will be Roquan Smith. Evans isn’t nearly the player Smith is in coverage, but Evans is basically the 230lb version of Dont’a Hightower. That’s pretty good for the 26th pick. Not that this matters, but Hightower was the 25th pick in 2012.
#27 New Orleans Saints – Edge Sam Hubbard, Ohio State
I have consistently put Dallas Goedert here and am now changing it at the last minute, so if the Saints take Goedert I will be super pissed.
I know the Saints could use the tight end, but they could also use another pass rusher to go with Jordan Cameron. Hubbard could play with his hand in the ground, or, considering he tested well at the combine and is a former lacrosse player, the Saints could try letting him play standing up and see how that goes.
#28 Pittsburgh Steelers – S Justin Reid, Stanford
The New England Patriots are living rent free in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ brains. Three weeks ahead of their regular season showdown, Tomlin expected Steelers vs. Patriots “to be fireworks,” and be “Part 1.” Don’t worry, the Steelers only had two divisional games between those comments and the week 15 matchup with New England.
After a “controversial” (he never became a runner and didn’t survive the ground, Steelers fans) no-catch ruling took away a touchdown, the Steelers then melted down and literally threw the game away, resulting in them losing that regular season matchup. Oh, and Part 2 never materialized.
That’s because the Steelers, once again, decided to look ahead to a (not yet real) matchup against the Patriots, and forgot to beat the Jaguars. So when I tell you I think the Steelers are going to draft based on how they match up with New England, I really do believe that is all the strategy that is going into this pick.
It doesn’t matter where they play, when they play, or even who plays, but when Tom Brady plays the Steelers he absolutely knifes through them. In that week 15 matchup on the game winning drive, everyone on planet earth knew Gronk was getting the ball, and the Steelers had no answer. He single handedly got the Patriots into the end zone with four catches on that drive. Here is someone to help cover Gronk since the team cut Mike Mitchell.
#29 Jacksonville Jaguars – CB Jaire Alexander, Louisville
If the Jaguars did have a need on defense it would be slot corner, since Aaron Colvin signed with the Texans in the offseason. I don’t think they are targeting the position here, but with Alexander falling into their lap they don’t ask any questions and roll with it.
#30 Minnesota Vikings – OL Billy Price, Ohio State
With Cousins in place the Vikings clear top need is the offensive line. Unless something drastic happens, I will be fully surprised if the Vikings don’t spend this pick on their favorite offensive lineman. I don’t think Price’s injury will affect his draft stock much as he should be ready for training camp. His positional versatility allows the Vikings the flexibility to put their five best offensive lineman on the field.
#31 New England Patriots – DT Maurice Hurst, Michigan
Speaking of Dominique Easley, Belichick never replaced him with anyone else that provided an interior pass rush. If the Patriots are ok with Hurst’s heart condition, then I don’t believe they will hesitate to take him here. Considering they were ok with Easley’s knees, and that situation was much worse, this seems like a distinct possibility to me.
#32 *TRADE Broncos send #47, #99, #113 to Eagles for #32*
Denver Broncos (F/PHI) – OG Will Hernandez, UTEP
If Elway does move down from #5 and picks up an extra second rounder, he will have two selections in each of the second, third, fourth, and fifth rounds. While having that much draft capital is nice, he could be willing to come back up the board to fix his offensive line. Before he selects at #40, the Giants, Colts, and Bears could all target interior offensive lineman right in front of him. This trade lets Elway move up without giving up #40, which he can then trade down from if he wants to recoup some of his picks.
I think the Eagles are going to move out of this spot. Yes, that is a hot rumor, but it makes too much sense. After #32 the Eagles aren’t set to make another selection until #130. Elway, with all his extra picks, appear to make for a logical trade partner.
#33 Cleveland Browns – OT Tyrell Crosby, Oregon
Dorsey looks to protect Baker Mayfield by selecting a replacement for Joe Thomas.
#34 New York Giants – OL Isaiah Wynn, Georgia
Do I really need to explain the Giants drafting an offensive lineman?
#35 Cleveland Browns – CB Mike Hughes, UCF
Dorsey took a chance on Marcus Peters’ character concerns in the first round, so he might do the same if Hughes drops this far.
#36 Seattle Seahawks (F/IND) – OG Austin Corbett, Nevada
Do I really need to explain the Seahawks drafting an offensive lineman?
#37 Indianapolis Colts (F/NYJ) – WR D.J. Moore, Maryland
Perhaps the best player available, also go look at the Colts’ WR depth chart behind Hilton.
#38 Tampa Bay Buccaneers – RB Derrius Guice, LSU
It is certainly possible Tampa targets defense here after taking Nelson in round one, especially in the secondary. However, the Bucs have the worst RB depth chart in the NFL.
#39 Chicago Bears – WR Courtland Sutton, SMU
The Bears will trot out the big bodied Robinson and Sutton on the outside with Gabriel in the slot.
#40 Denver Broncos – CB Isaiah Oliver, Colorado
Elway traded Talib away, so he needs someone to fill the void.
#41 Oakland Raiders – DT Da’Ron Payne, Alabama
Gruden absolutely cannot believe it when Payne is still available to him here. Considering Payne may go as high as #13 I am not feeling too great about having him slide this far down the board, but someone always falls on draft day and I guess I’m predicting it to be the run stuffer.
#42 Miami Dolphins – TE Dallas Goedert, South Dakota State
It is a good bet the Dolphins go defense heavy, but when the top tight end falls to them here they pounce.
#43 New England Patriots (F/SF) – QB Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State
What will anger Tom Brady more, this selection, or never winning Patriot of the Week in 2018?
#44 Washington – CB Donte Jackson, LSU
Washington shipped out their nickel corner in the Alex Smith trade.
#45 Green Bay Packers – Edge Lorenzo Carter, Georgia
Green Bay takes who they view as the top available pass rusher.
#46 Cincinnati Bengals – OG Braden Smith, Auburn
Another investment along the offensive front.
#47 Philadelphia Eagles (F/DEN/ARI) – OT Brian O’Neill, Pittsburgh
A replacement for Jason Peters. This could even be the pick if they stick at #32.
#48 Los Angeles Chargers – DT Harrison Phillips, Stanford.
The Chargers passed on Payne in the first round to get Rivers some protection, so they go for a run stuffer here.
#49 Indianapolis Colts (F/NYJ/SEA) – Edge Rasheem Green, USC
#50 Dallas Cowboys – WR Christian Kirk, Texas A&M
This isn’t the big bodied outside receiver Dallas may be after, but Kirk is the best receiver on the board and can help out on special teams.
#51 Detroit Lions – TE Hayden Hurst, South Carolina
The Lions can’t believe their eyes when Hurst falls to them this late in the second.
#52 Baltimore Ravens – Edge Uchenna Nwosu, USC
The Ravens desperately need a young pass rusher in the pipeline.
#53 Buffalo Bills – OT Geron Christian, Louisville
The Bills will probably let Dion Dawkins replace Cordy Glenn, but they need a right tackle and to protect their new quarterback.
#54 Kansas City Chiefs – CB Carlton Davis, Auburn
The Chiefs need to replace Marcus Peters
#55 Carolina Panthers – S Jessie Bates III, Wake Forest
The Panthers could very well address safety in the first round.
#56 Indianapolis Colts (F/BUF/LAR) – RB Sony Michael, Georgia
This is already the Colts sixth pick (!) in the draft if they trade back with the Bills. They grab the best remaining running back.
#57 Tennessee Titans – LB Malik Jefferson, Texas
The Titans could use a linebacker and decide to swing for the fences here.
#58 Atlanta Falcons – S Terrell Edmunds, Virginia Tech
A steal here in the eyes of most, provides for better coverage on the back end against all these NFC South quarterbacks.
#59 San Francisco 49ers (F/NO) – WR James Washington, Oklahoma State
Speed target for Jimmy.
#60 Pittsburgh Steelers – RB Rashaad Penny, San Diego State
This signals a looming divorce between the Steelers and Bell in 2019.
#61 Jacksonville Jaguars – TE Mike Gesicki, Penn State
Just get weapons for Bortles.
#62 Minnesota Vikings – OT Jamarco Jones, Ohio State
More offensive line investments.
#63 New England Patriots – LB Skai Moore, South Carolina
One of the Patriots biggest needs is a coverage linebacker, as evidence by how god awful they are at defending RPO’s. Moore is exceptional in coverage for a linebacker and would allow Belichick to continue deploying Hightower as an edge defender, instead of taking a chance on an edge prospect here in a weak edge draft class. Perhaps Jerome Baker will be the guy Belichick picks for this since he used to have an affinity for Urban Meyer players when Meyer was at Florida.
#64 Cleveland Browns (F/PHI) – RB Nick Chubb, Georgia
Dorsey may wait longer to take a running back, but Chubb should go much higher than this so he takes the value.
#65 Buffalo Bills (F/CLE) – OG Wyatt Teller, Virginia Tech
Just keep protecting Allen.
#66 New York Giants – Edge Josh Sweat, Florida State
There is a rumor the Giants are considering Sweat at #34, so this is a steal in their eyes.
#67 Indianapolis Colts – OL Mason Cole, Michigan
This may be a reach, and Cole is a center by trade, but with so many picks Ballard decides to just go for it upgrading Luck’s interior protection and sees if Cole can play guard.
#68 Houston Texans – OT Desmond Harrison, West Georgia
I don’t know much in this life, but I am very confident that two of Houston’s three 3rd round picks will be used on offensive lineman to protect Watson.
#69 New York Giants (F/TB) – OL Martinas Rankin, Mississippi State
Rankin played tackle in college and most believe he needs to play on the interior in the NFL. Some see him as a guard, others as a center. The Giants will appreciate the versatility since they need help everywhere.
#70 San Francisco 49ers (F/CHI) – OL Scott Quessenberry, UCLA
Protection for Jimmy.
#71 Denver Broncos – RB Ronald Jones, USC
Denver cut C.J. Anderson and no running back on this roster inspires confidence.
#72 New York Jets – OT Orlando Brown, Oklahoma
The Jets are in the business of protecting Darnold and decide to roll the dice on Brown here.
#73 Miami Dolphins – DT B.J. Hill, N.C. State
The Dolphins do need someone to try to fill the void left by Suh.
#74 San Francisco 49ers – CB Anthony Averett, Alabama
The 9ers need more than Sherman at corner.
#75 Oakland Raiders – OT Chukwuma Okorafor, Western Michigan
The Raiders might go with McGlinchey at #10, so they clearly are in the market for OT help.
#76 Green Bay Packers – WR D.J. Chark, LSU
They need another receiver on the outside with the release of Jordy. Chark has speed to burn.
#77 Cincinnati Bengals – CB Duke Dawson, Florida
Marvin Lewis has always kept his corner depth chart fully stocked and likes athletes.
#78 Kansas City Chiefs (F/WAS) – Edge Arden Key, LSU
Andy Reid has taken character risks before, so he swings for the fences here.
#79 Arizona Cardinals – OT Will Richardson, N.C. State
This may be a reach, but the Cardinals are desperate to protect their new quarterback.
#80 Houston Texans (F/SEA) – OT Brandon Parker, North Carolina A&T
The Texans double dip at OT, but Watson’s health is the team’s top priority.
#81 Dallas Cowboys – OT Cole Madison, Washington State
Perhaps another reach, but Collins is kicking inside to guard and we all saw what happens when Tyron Smith is injured.
#82 Detroit Lions – Edge Kemoko Turay, Rutgers
Patricia wants to apply as much pressure as possible on opposing quarterbacks.
#83 Baltimore Ravens – WR Dante Pettis, Washington
The Ravens need a real long-term solution at receiver and Pettis can help on special teams.
#84 Los Angeles Chargers – LB Josey Jewell, Iowa
The two biggest needs on defense for Los Angeles are nose tackle and off ball linebacker.
#85 Carolina Panthers (F/BUF) – WR DaeSean Hamilton, Penn State
Not the burner the Panthers might be after, but someone Cam can rely on.
#86 Kansas City Chiefs – S Ronnie Harrison, Alabama
Reid can’t believe this guy is still on the board.
#87 Los Angeles Rams – Edge Obo Okoronkwo, Oklahoma
The Rams need more of a pass rush, and Okoronkwo is a steal here.
#88 Carolina Panthers – CB M.J. Stewart, North Carolina
Corner is a position the Panthers could address much earlier in the draft.
#89 Tennessee Titans – Edge Tyquan Lewis, Ohio State
Sam Hubbard is one of the Titans primary first round targets, but after going another direction they grab his teammate here to fill that void.
#90 Seattle Seahawks (F/ATL) – Edge Shaquem Griffin, UCF
The Schneider/Carroll regime has proven to love athletes and Griffin lit up the combine. Also, watch Carroll’s reaction to Griffin’s 40 time and try to tell me Carroll isn’t drafting this kid.
#91 New Orleans Saints – QB Luke Falk, Washington State
Right in front of Pittsburgh too.
#92 Pittsburgh Steelers – QB Mike White, Western Kentucky
I had a tough time deciding between White and Lauletta here, but ultimately had the Steelers choose the arm talent. Day Two of the draft signals to Steelers fans that a new era isn’t far away.
#93 Jacksonville Jaguars – QB Kyle Lauletta, Richmond
Lauletta can be groomed while Bortles plays out his extension.
#94 Minnesota Vikings – CB Holton Hill, Texas
Hill has baggage but should go higher than this based on tape. The Vikings need a young corner in the pipeline.
#95 New England Patriots – CB Nick Nelson, Wisconsin
Eric Rowe and Jason McCourty are free agents after this season and Cyrus Jones missed 2017 with a torn ACL.
#96 Buffalo Bills (F/PHI) – WR Trey Quinn, SMU
A reliable slot target for Allen.
#97 Arizona Cardinals – WR Michael Gallup, Colorado State
The depth behind Fitz is non-existent and 2018 could be Fitz’s last season.
#98 Houston Texans – RB Royce Freeman, Oregon
This may not seem like a good fit with Foreman already on the roster, but I don’t think Lamar Miller will be on this team much longer.
#99 Philadelphia Eagles (F/DEN) – LB Darius Lenard, South Carolina State
Maybe the best player on the board and hits a need.
#100 Cincinnati Bengals – S DeShon Elliot, Texas
The Bengals let Reggie Nelson leave and never did anything to address it.