Draft Analysis

Alex Whitney’s 2018 Mock Draft Analysis

1. QB Sam Darnold USC  

If I were the Browns, I take Saquon Barkley because I believe he is the best player in the draft. But the Browns have a history of not worrying about that. If they truly believe that Darnold can be their franchise QB, they will take him #1.

2. RB Saquon Barkley PENN STATE

I just fully believe that Barkley is too much of an offensive weapon for the Giants to pass up. It is possible they will draft a QB to succeed Eli Manning, or a DE to replace Jason Pierre-Paul, but they haven’t had a valuable running back in years and I feel they aren’t sold on this year’s crop of QB’s.

3. QB Josh Rosen UCLA

The Jets did not trade up to take anyone but their perceived franchise QB. Josh Rosen, in my opinion, is a bit of a wildcard. He has shown in the past his abilities to be a good QB but also has that something in him that could make him go awry.

4. DE Bradley Chubb NC STATE

If you are in the Browns position here, you need to take the best player available. The thought of having Myles Garrett and Chubb anchor your defensive line for years is any teams dream. Just look at how important the d-line was for the Eagles.

5. QB Baker Mayfield OKLAHOMA

I think we all know that Case Keenum isn’t the future for any franchise, and it has been well documented that the Broncos are looking for a QB. I’m sure they hope the outspoken Oklahoma QB won’t turn out like Johnny Manziel.

6. G Quenton Nelson  NOTRE DAME

Nelson has been flying up draft boards recently, and for good reason. He is the best offensive line prospect in the draft and that is something the Colts just can’t pass up, especially with a “healthy” Andrew Luck.

7.  S Derwin James FLORIDA ST. 

From all that is said about James, he’s a leader on the defense. With no dominant safety on the roster, he could slot in as a starter and be a force on the defense for years to come.

8. ILB Tremaine Edmunds VIRGINIA TECH

Edmunds has drawn comparisons to Brian Urlacher, well, where else could he go but where Urlacher played? Slotting Edmunds in next to Danny Trevathan in the middle of your defense will really help solidify and make them a competitive defense. With so much attention put on revamping their offense this offseason, defense is where they should go in the 1st round of the draft.

9. CB Denzel Ward OHIO ST. 

With the addition of Richard Sherman, and a solid but unproven Ahkello Witherspoon at CB, Ward may seem like a curious choice. But his athleticism and footwork would really counter the height of the other two corners (both Sherman and Witherspoon are 6’3”+). Also, the chance to draft a potential young lockdown corner is too good to pass up.

10. OLB Roquan Smith GEORGIA

With Cory James still unproven and coming off a knee injury, Roquan Smith can come in and start right away. He would add athleticism, speed, and leadership in the middle of the field with Khalil Mack rushing to the QB in front of him.

11. DT Da’Ron Payne ALABAMA

It is obvious that the Dolphins will want another DT to replace the outgoing Ndamakung Suh. Why not draft the best one in the class? Payne has the potential to be a dominant run stuffer, and he brings size and athleticism to a d-line that also added Robert Quinn this offseason.

12. QB Josh Allen WYOMING

AJ McCarron could be a solid bridge QB for the Bills and would allow the talented but raw Josh Allen to grow before throwing him into the fire (see Nathan Peterman).


Getting a big DT and run stuffer like Vea is exactly what the Redskins need. Vea fits their scheme perfectly and should slot next to Jonathan Allen on that DLine and make it better.

14. S Minkah Fitzpatrick 

Two Alabama boys running the defense in Green Bay? Possibly. Fitzpatrick and HaHa Clinton-Dix could really make some noise together on the same defense. Add in Fitzpatrick’s ability to cover the slot, he could be a weapon on the Packer defense.

15. OT Mike McGlinchey NOTRE DAME

The two projected starting OT’s for the Cardinals are Andre Smith and D.J. Humphries, who both were out the majority of last season with injuries. Adding a highly touted OT to add some stability to the offensive line is what they need, especially with Sam Bradford at QB.

16. TE Hayden Hurst  SOUTH CAROLINA

The Ravens need capable pass-catchers, and that is evident with their signings of Michael Crabtree and John Brown this offseason. What they have been lacking since Dennis Pitta’s injuries is a solid TE that can help bale out Joe Flacco. Hurst, the former Pittsburgh Pirates prospect, can be that as he has had                          1 career drop in his college career.

17. OT Orlando Brown OKLAHOMA

Joe Barksdale has been inconsistent for the Chargers. To extend Philip Rivers’ career and to help Melvin Gordon, their best offensive weapon, drafting a big OT like Brown could go a long way.

18. CB Josh Jackson IOWA

Josh Jackson can bring what Richard Sherman had for so long, and that is the ability to be a ball hawk and create big plays. Replacing him would make it a little easier for the Seahawks to move on from Sherman.

19. DT Taven Bryan FLORIDA

The Cowboys have one great pass rusher in Demarcus Lawrence, and one developing one in Taco Charlton, which means they can focus a little bit on the DT position. Bryan has the ability to slip into the backfield and make plays, something the Cowboys need.


With Ziggy Ansah on the franchise tag, it would be a smart idea to look for an edge rusher just in case they don’t want to pay Ansah. Ansah is also entering his age-29 season so getting younger can help as well. Landry is a great athlete with great arm length, which is what you want in an edge rusher.

21. G Isaiah Wynn GEORGIA

Bringing in a guard that can start right away like Wynn is what you want in a mid-1st round pick. Wynn has the ability to be a great run blocker and has shown he’s a good pass blocker as well. What else can you ask for?

22. WR Calvin Ridley ALABAMA

With the Bills having Kelvin Benjamin, a big body receiver, and an unproven Zay Jones as their #2 receiver adding a high-volume reception guy and potential #1 in Calvin Ridley would be a steal at this point in the draft. Ridley is smaller than the aforementioned receiver, which can offer something a                               little different in their offense.

23. G/T Connor Williams TEXAS

Adding an offensive lineman that can play both the tackle and guard position would add needed versatility to the Patriots’ offensive line. With the departure of Nate Solder and the inexperience of LaAdrian Waddle, a new offensive lineman seems to be in order.

24. S Justin Reid STANFORD

The Panthers can’t go into the season with Colin Jones, Mike Adams, and Da’Norris Searcy as their only safety options. Reid would be an instant starter and an instant impact player on their defense. He’s one of the more well-balanced DB in the draft and his versatility would play well in the Panthers defense.

25. DE Marcus Davenport UTSA

The Titans need an edge rusher to really get to the QB. They have had success at the LB position with Derrick Morgan and Brian Orakpo at getting to the QB but besides DT Jurrell Casey, not much is coming from the line. Adding a DE/EDGE guy like Davenport could really elevate their defense.

26. DT Maurice Hurst MICHIGAN

With the departure of Dontari Poe, there is a hole in the middle of the d-line for the Falcons. He has the ability to get underneath the guards and slip through blocks to get into the backfield.

27. TE Dallas Goedert S. DAKOTA ST. 

Ever since Jimmy Graham has left, the Saints haven’t been able to find a reliable pass catcher at the TE spot. Goedert has great hands and would be a great target in the twilight of Drew Brees’ career.

 ILB Leighton Vander Esch BOISE ST. 

The Steelers need an inside linebacker that can pile up the tackles. Vander Esch immediately could be a 100 tackle a season type guy who can range from sideline to sideline with ease and with more time to grow.

29. OT Tyrell Crosby OREGON

The Jaguars need offensive line depth, and adding an offensive lineman in the 1st round will help sure that up. He can compete with RT Jermey Parnell for the starting job.

30. OT Kolton Miller UCLA

Similarly to the Jaguars, the Vikings need to add offensive line depth. They struggled last year on their offensive line with injuries, and if there is one thing that Kirk Cousins needs in his NFL career, is for him not be on his butt more than he needs to.

31. ILB Rashaan Evans ALABAMA

One thing that was missing in last year’s Patriot’s run was the presence of Dont’a Hightower in the middle of their defense. Adding a guy like Evans who can play inside and outside, and next to Hightower, would be a great get at the end of the 1st round.

 RB Derrius Guice LSU

Guice is a powerful runner who can be used in a relatively similar role to LeGarrette Blount from last year. I love Corey Clement, but if Jay Ajayi gets hurt, he can’t be leaned on as a 1st string back. Adding                         Guice can create a 3 RB rotation that made the running game so successful for the Eagles last year.



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