2018 Two-Round NFL Mock Draft (2.0)

• Mock Draft 1.0, released on February 19, 2018, can be viewed here.
(Round 1)
1. Cleveland Browns: Sam Darnold, QB. USC
Analysis: Simply couldn’t protect the ball in 2017, but see the 2016 Rose Bowl vs. Penn State for a glimpse into how special he can be. Projectable prototype quarterback for Dorsey & Co. to move forward with.
2. New York Giants: Josh Rosen, QB. UCLA
Analysis: Best to find your man a year early than a year late, and the G-Men aren’t likely to have a better opportunity of acquiring Eli’s successor. Rosen is the most pro-ready quarterback available.
3. New York Jets (f/IND): Josh Allen, QB. Wyoming
Analysis: Though any team drafting Allen is taking a tremendous risk, he suits the conventional mold of quarterbacks GM Mike Maccagnan has preferred in his time with Gang Green. Jets are all-in.
4. Cleveland Browns (f/HOU): Quenton Nelson, OG. Notre Dame
Analysis: In 2013, John Dorsey made the shrewd, unsexy decision to oversee the selection of Eric Fisher at No. 1 overall and has always valued linemen with premium picks. This gives Cleveland the flexibility to kick Joel Bitonio back to his college position at left tackle.
5. Denver Broncos: Saquon Barkley, RB. Penn State
Analysis: Despite the tremendous depth at the position in this class, the Broncos find themselves fortunate that the potential best player available falls to them. Denver is sorely lacking in explosion at the position and Barkley pairs with Keenum for a backfield overhaul.

Chris Ballard's Colts, with four picks in the first two rounds, are well-positioned to win the 2018 NFL Draft.
Chris Ballard’s Colts, with four picks in the first two rounds and no quarterback need, are well-positioned to win the 2018 NFL Draft.

6. Indianapolis Colts (f/NYJ): Bradley Chubb, DE. NC State
Analysis: How smart does Chris Ballard look if this materializes? The Colts collectively accumulated 25.0 sacks in 2017 – good for second-worst in the NFL. Chubb is the defined No. 1 edge player in the class and has amassed 44 TFL and 20.0 sacks over the past to seasons.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB. Alabama
Analysis: Having already made a concerted effort to reinforce the league’s worst pass rush with the acquisitions of Vinny Curry and Jason Pierre-Paul, Tampa would be fortuitous to land the draft’s top defensive back. Whether it’s at corner or safety, he starts immediately.
8. Chicago Bears: Tremaine Edmunds, LB. Virginia Tech
Analysis: A rare breed of physical specimen, the 19-year-old could either project as an interior player or on the edge as a stand-up pass rusher.
9. San Francisco 49ers: Derwin James, S. Florida State
Analysis: Few first-round prospects have ascended throughout the process quite like James has. 49ers GM John Lynch – a former safety himself – knows the value of the position better than most.
10. Oakland Raiders: Vita Vea, DT. Washington
Analysis: Despite the signings of cornerback Rashaan Melvin and linebacker Tahir Whitehead more is needed at each position – however, there’s presently no greater need than along the interior defensive line (as evidenced by Oakland’s flirtation with Ndamukong Suh). Vea is a good-bodied power nose in the Haloti Ngata mold who can take attention off Khalil Mack.
11. Miami Dolphins: Denzel Ward, CB. Ohio State
Analysis: The Phins’ pass defense placed right on the Mendoza line in 2017 and, despite Xavien Howard showing strong signs of encouragement, more is needed –  a particularly prudent option with Vea off the board. Ward is a productive and complete cornerback.
12. Buffalo Bills (f/CIN): Baker Mayfield, QB. Oklahoma
Analysis: After sliding up nine picks, this selection will be for a quarterback one way or another and it’s quite possible the Bills continue moving up the board from here. The signing of A.J. McCarron no longer necessitates the need to find an immediate starter, but if he falters than there may not be a more polished player at the position from this class than Mayfield.
13. Washington Redskins: Roquan Smith, LB. Georgia
Analysis: Best-player-available. Zach Brown is quality and was re-signed, as was Mason Foster – but the latter is declining and easily upgradeable. Roquan Smith is a rangy athlete capable of playing in a wide variety of base fronts.
14. Green Bay Packers: Mike Hughes, CB. Central Florida
Analysis: In 2016, Green Bay began overhauling its secondary by adding length and speed, but the process is far from complete – particularly on the boundaries. New defensive coordinator Mike Pettine deploys a more aggressive press-man approach, which Hughes suits quite nicely. He’s scratching the surface of his potential.
15. Arizona Cardinals: Connor Williams, OT. Texas
Analysis: There are few teams in the current NFL landscape who struggle to protect the quarterback more than Arizona (who ranked tied for 30th in sacks allowed in 2017). Williams is right tackle or guard versatile with NFL-ready run blocking skills. In a no-trade scenario, with no quarterback available suited to play-caller Mike McCoy’s offense, the Cards address issues elsewhere.
16. Baltimore Ravens: Mike McGlinchey, OT. Notre Dame
Analysis: Offensive line has been an area of strength for Baltimore for multiple years, but a continued infusion of talent would be an all-encompassing benefit. McGlinchey book-ended Ronnie Stanley once before at Notre Dame in 2015 and would allow the Ravens to utilize Alex Lewis as a swingman.
17. Los Angeles Chargers: Da’Ron Payne, DT. Alabama
Analysis: Starting nose tackle Brandon Mebane is regressing with age and entering the final year of his contract. As well, defensive end Corey Liuget was suspended four games to start the 2018 season due to a PED violation. Da’Ron Payne’s is an ideal solution to both concerns.
18. Seattle Seahawks: Marcus Davenport, DE. Texas-San Antonio
Analysis: The Seahawks totalled 39.0 sacks in 2017 – 8.5 of which were traded to Philly with Michael Bennett. Between various pass-rushing reclamation projects and the likely release of Cliff Avril, Seattle could opt for upside and plug-in the explosive Davenport.
19. Dallas Cowboys: Leighton Vander Esch, LB. Boise State
Analysis: Sean Lee is turning 32, has never played 16 games in a season and the Cowboys defense is consistently weakened without him. Vander Esch is an impressive athlete with low mileage, coming off an elite year of all-around production.
20. Detroit Lions: Sam Hubbard, DE. Ohio State
Analysis: Pass-rushing woes in 2017 necessitated a move for a now-38-year-old Dwight Freeney, and despite Ziggy Ansah’s pricey Franchise Tag the need for an upgrade on the edge is sorely required. Hubbard is a productive, athletic end with deceptive ability in space.
21. Cincinnati Bengals (f/BUF): Isaiah Wynn, OG. Georgia
Analysis: The trade down to this selection, which also added Cordy Glenn, allows for better value at guard. New offensive line coach Frank Pollack saw first-hand how smooth a transition Zack Martin made from college tackle to pro guard – Wynn’s physical composition is similar.
22. Buffalo Bills (f/KC): Jaire Alexander, CB. Louisville
Analysis: While it’s very likely this pick is used in part as a trade-up chip for the Bills to land their passer in the top ten, if they keep it they land one of round one’s biggest bargains. Alexander may be the draft’s best player at his position and for durability and height/length reasons, he slips. Think Josh Verrett 2.0, and a fantastic complement to Tre’Davious White.
Sean McVay and Co. have quickly transformed the Rams into NFC contenders, but require pass rush help.
Sean McVay and Co. have quickly transformed the Rams into NFC contenders, but require pass rush help.

23. Los Angeles Rams: Harold Landry, OLB. Boston College
Analysis: The roster needed to contend in the NFC is taking shape, but Wade Phillips still lacks a reliable edge rushing option. Landry’s stellar Combine performance solidified the belief in his ability to be a space-playing 3-4 linebacker. The most polished player available in the position the Rams require most.
24. Carolina Panthers: Joshua Jackson, CB. Iowa
Analysis: GM Marty Hurney indicated a willingness to address the positional need by attempting to sign Bashaud Breeland (who failed his physical) and the corner market is relatively scarce. Rather than opting for a committee approach on the opposite boundary to James Bradberry, the high-potential Joshua Jackson is a seamless schematic fit for a primarily zone base secondary that finished middle of the pack in coverage last year.
25. Tennessee Titans: Josh Sweat, OLB. Florida State
Analysis: Gifted athlete with desirable speed, size and length. It was apparent at the Combine that his ideal fit comes as a base 3-4 edge, and despite past injury concerns he’s proven to be an accomplished pass disruptor. There is some ‘boom or bust’ factor to Sweat’s evaluation, but if he puts it together at the next level he could be a gem.
26. Atlanta Falcons: Taven Bryan, DT. Florida
Analysis: With a relatively complete roster it’s quite possible that Thomas Dimitroff looks to be aggressive and move up to secure Atlanta’s target. If not, Taven Bryan is a fantastic option. Possessing a bullish lower-body build with an active motor, the Casper, Montana-native provides an excellent solution to the vacancy left by Dontari Poe.
27. New Orleans Saints: Calvin Ridley, WR. New Orleans
Analysis: When you’re picking at the bottom of round one and the top available player at a position of need falls to you, it’s fate. Though this is more based on circumstance, New Orleans’ offense would benefit tremendously from adding a passing game workhorse to aid Drew Brees while the window of contention remains open. Ridley possesses some similarities to Reggie Wayne in 2001.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers: Lorenzo Carter, LB. Georgia
Analysis: One pick that touches upon a couple needs. Jon Bostic only begins to answer how Pittsburgh will replace Ryan Shazier in 2018 and the team requires more production from former first-rounder Bud Dupree, having yet to active his fifth-year option. Carter is a long, rangy uber-athlete who can be molded into either role moving forward.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars: Christian Kirk, WR. Texas A&M
Analysis: A rapid turnaround, aided by relatively wise spending in free agency, has the Jags sitting pretty on draft night. Though linebacker is arguably the team’s most glaring hole following Paul Posluszny’s retirement, it’d be a minor surprise to see Kirk available. The organization stood behind Blake Bortles this offseason and, as such, add another dynamic weapon to aid in his continued development.
30. Minnesota Vikings: Will Hernandez, OG. UTEP
Analysis: After hammering top roster needs at quarterback and defensive tackle in free agency the Vikings are free to address the interior offensive line. Rookie center Pat Elflein is a stud, but both guard spots are easily upgradeable, and a phone-booth mauler like Hernandez would bring a welcomed mean streak to an O-line that was ill-equipped against a formidable pass rush in the NFC title game.
31. New England Patriots: Kolton Miller, OT. UCLA
Analysis: After Nate Solder joined the Giants for historic money it’d be fitting if a player of a near-identical physical profile slots in as his replacement. One of the 2018 Combine’s true workout warriors, the mammoth blind-side Bruin blocker is raw but offers a boatload of athleticism for the position. Besides, edge blocking as a rookie isn’t such a herculean task when it’s for Tom Brady’s lightning-quick internal clock.
32. Philadelphia Eagles: Dallas Goedert, TE. South Dakota State
Analysis: For a team with few – if any – immediate holes, there is an opportunity for reinforcement behind Zach Ertz. After losing a quality ‘move’ tight end in Trey Burton to free agency, Goedert can effectively replicate the physical attributes lost in the passing game. More of a linear athlete in the Travis Kelce mold, this adds another dynamic dimension to an Eagles offense patiently awaiting the return of Carson Wentz.
(Round 2)
33. Cleveland Browns: Isaiah Oliver, CB. Colorado
Analysis: Size, length, ball skills. Tremendous potential at the top of round two, and can also help as a returner. Offers a new matchup dimension on Cleveland’s boundary.
34. New York Giants: Billy Price, OG/C. Ohio State
Analysis: Big Blue invested heavily at left tackle with Nate Solder and double-down with the nasty (guard-capable) Billy Price, a fellow Buckeye product equally polished as Shurmur’s rookie center (Pat Elflein) in Minnesota last season.
35. Cleveland Browns (f/HOU): Justin Reid, S. Stanford
Analysis: Versatile, “student of game” type who can cover multiple positions in the secondary behind Damarious Randall, who enters a contract year.
36. Indianapolis Colts: Derrius Guice, RB. LSU
Analysis: The feature ‘back Indy’s been seeking since the Edgerrin James/Joseph Addai days; whether it’s Luck or Brissett under center, Guice is capable of carrying the load offensively.
37. Indianapolis Colts (f/NYJ): James Daniels, OG/C. Iowa
Buccaneers GM Jason Licht has quickly addressed pass rushing needs through free agency and the trade market, allowing for increased draft flexibility.
Buccaneers GM Jason Licht has quickly addressed pass rushing needs through the free agent and trade markets, allowing for increased draft flexibility.

Analysis: Reich touted the interior O-line depth of this class and the Colts are pleased to find a first-round talent, in the Pouncey twins’ mold, capable of playing three positions atop round two.
38. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Sony Michel, RB. Georgia
Analysis: Perpetual home run threat capable of stabilizing a backfield in need of a workhorse. Sony finally becomes an outright bell-cow.
39. Chicago Bears: Desmond Harrison, OT. West Georgia
Analysis: An ideal schematic fit for Nagy/Helfrich; high-potential long-term left tackle option who could physically follow in the Tyron Smith development path when he fills out his athletic frame.
40. Denver Broncos: Braden Smith, OG. Auburn
Analysis: Guard will be a point of emphasis early on and Smith is a big, powerful people-pusher with a ready-made NFL frame.
41. Oakland Raiders: Rashaan Evans, LB. Alabama
Analysis: Modern prototype linebacker with range and explosion; doubles as a sub-package pass rusher.
42. Miami Dolphins: Lamar Jackson, QB. Louisville
Analysis: Though maybe not a round one quarterback team after converting $16.7M into guaranteed money on Tannehill’s deal, this would be an ideal situation for player and team; electrifying playmaker.
43. New England Patriots (f/SF): Mike Gesicki, TE. Penn State
Analysis: Gronk is pondering retirement and Dwayne Allen was a non-factor in the passing game last season. Gesicki is a more athletic Jeremy Shockey and red-zone demon.
44. Washington Redskins: Harrison Phillips, DT. Stanford
Analysis: Brute power and a hulking physical build, Phillips provides an instant upgrade at nose tackle as Washington continues to beef up through the defensive middle.
45. Green Bay Packers: Arden Key, OLB. LSU
Analysis: Ideal dimensions and profile as a base 3-4 edge rusher with considerable upside. If they’re drafting the 2016 version, then it’s a tremendous bargain at this point.
46. Cincinnati Bengals: Hayden Hurst, TE. South Carolina
Analysis: Eifert’s proved unreliable and, at worst, this provides a well-rounded contingency plan at a position lacking depth.
47. Arizona Cardinals: Mason Rudolph, QB. Oklahoma State
Analysis: Despite lacking an A+ arm, Rudolph is a formidable downfield passer with terrific accuracy; Cards finally secure what could be their long-term answer under center.
48. Los Angeles Chargers: Ronnie Harrison, S. Alabama
Analysis: Unbelievable value in a position of need; heavy, downhill box safety with ‘plus’ coverage skills for the position. Charger fans screaming ‘Roll Tide’ in this scenario.
49. Indianapolis Colts (f/NYJ): Courtland Sutton, WR. Southern Methodist
Analysis: Lacking explosion, but a big-bodied possession target who adds a much-needed dimension to Indy’s stable of receivers.
50. Dallas Cowboys: Orlando Brown, OT. Oklahoma
Analysis: A lot of value at this point; an immediate right tackle option who allows La’El Collins to kick back to guard where he was stellar in 2016.
51. Detroit Lions: Ronald Jones III, RB. USC
Analysis: Delivers the ‘big play’ element sorely lacking in the Lions stagnant backfield; Jamaal Charles 2.0?
52. Baltimore Ravens: Kerryon Johnson, RB. Auburn
Analysis: Alex Collins was reliable, but there is tremendous value here in Johnson – an explosive, efficient, productive runner – who adds more excitement and depth to Baltimore’s backfield.
53. Buffalo Bills: Anthony Miller, WR. Memphis
Analysis: Benjamin enters a contract year and Zay Jones’ situation is up in the air. Miller is a production machine with numerous similarities to Antonio Brown out of CMU in 2010.
54. Kansas City Chiefs: Kyzir White, S. West Virginia
Analysis: Ron Parker is gone and depth beyond Eric Berry is severely lacking. White favorably complements the aforementioned Berry and ideally profiles as a hybrid big-slot/tight end coverage option.
55. Carolina Panthers: Martinas Rankin, OL. Mississippi State
Analysis: A savvy selection that would provide deep coverage along the O-line; immediate help at guard and a strong center candidate once Ryan Kalil retires.
56. Buffalo Bills (f/LAR): Malik Jefferson, LB. Texas
Analysis: Rangy H/W/S prototype with superior coverage skills and an attack-minded approach to the position.
57. Tennessee Titans: Frank Ragnow, OG/C. Arkansas
Analysis: Deeply experienced leader with the ability to cover all three interior positions; lunchpail blocker with deceptive athleticism.
58. Atlanta Falcons: Rasheem Green, DE. USC
Analysis: Versatile, hybrid lineman with enough bulk for a sub-package interior rusher, but enough agility and quickness to disrupt from the edge as well.
59. San Francisco 49ers (f/NO): Austin Corbett, OG. Nevada
Analysis: The organization has heavily prioritized building an O-line in the Lynch era; the fleet-footed college tackle is a perfect fit for Shanahan’s outside zone and appears to be a carbon copy of fellow Nevada alum Joel Bitonio.
60. Pittsburgh Steelers: Jessie Bates, S. Wake Forest
Analysis: Self-motivator just scratching the surface of his potential; highly productive tackler with natural, center-field coverage awareness.
The always-enigmatic Patriots hold three of the first 63 selections and are liable to go in a number of directions.
The always-enigmatic Patriots hold three of the first 63 selections and are liable to go in a number of directions.

61. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jerome Baker, LB. Ohio State
Analysis: Springy defender, covers ground seamlessly with blistering play-speed; capable of matching nearly any caliber of athlete in coverage. Kindly suits the Jags’ defensive profile.
62. Minnesota Vikings: Kemoko Turay, DE/OLB. Rutgers
Analysis: In Mike Zimmer’s desired H/W/S mold; a limitless athlete whose role can be shaped in a number of ways, similarly to Anthony Barr.
63. New England Patriots: Mike White, QB. Western Kentucky
Analysis: Prototype pocket-passer with a firehose arm; New England uses young quarterbacks as currency and can restock the cupboard.
64. Cleveland Browns (f/PHI): Nick Chubb, RB. Georgia
Analysis: Prodigious, productive Dawg rusher who likely would’ve gone higher had he not suffered a significant knee injury in 2015.
Let me have it on Twitter: @NFLDraftUpdate

2018 Two-Round NFL Mock Draft (1.0)

*Note: As there was a tie, No. 9 and 10 overall will be decided via coin toss at the Combine. In order to determine the order for this mock, I literally brought a 49ers fan and a Raiders fan together for a coin toss (in what proved to be a monumental waste of time and resources). 49ers won the toss.

(Round 1)
1. Cleveland Browns: Sam Darnold, QB. USC
Analysis: Simply couldn’t protect the ball in 2017, but offers more in both production and upside than all fellow quarterback classmates. See 2016 Rose Bowl vs. Penn State for a glimpse at how special he can be.
2. New York Giants: Josh Rosen, QB. UCLA
Analysis: No worthy pass protection and the long-term need under center is palpable. Best to find your man a year early anyway, as this also relieves pressure on Shurmur to identify Eli’s successor. Rosen’s persona should mesh well in NYC.
3. Indianapolis Colts: Bradley Chubb, DE. NC State
Analysis: Though Indy’s rush offense was poor in 2017 its defense ranked 30th in yards (conceded) per game + 31st in sacks and Chubb is consistently dominant. This running back class may be the best in history – fry that fish later
4. Cleveland Browns (f/HOU): Saquon Barkley, RB. Penn State
Analysis: I struggled because this is the least-John Dorsey pick ever, but to land arguably the draft’s best player with the second of two picks makes it less of a luxury. O-line help still wouldn’t surprise me here either.
5. Denver Broncos: Quenton Nelson, OG. Notre Dame
Analysis: Unquestionably the best, most plug-and-play blocker in this draft class and the Broncos ranked 30th in sacks-allowed last year.
6. New York Jets: Calvin Ridley, WR. Alabama
Analysis: Ridley is a pass-game workhorse in the Reggie Wayne mold. Plenty of unpolished passers will still be available later, and with less immediate pressure than they would if taken here.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB. Alabama
Analysis: Corner, safety – doesn’t matter. Tampa’s defense sorely needs a talent upgrade and Minkah fields an all-around game with huge upside. Adding some more length to that secondary is an added bonus.
8. Chicago Bears: Connor Williams, OT. Texas
Analysis: New head coach Matt Nagy arrives from an organization in KC that put a premium on O-lineman, and with a bright-eyed young passer under center comes the responsibility of protecting him.
9. San Francisco 49ers: Roquan Smith, LB. Georgia
Analysis: Whether Reuben Foster plays 16 games or not, there’s a need to upgrade the linebacking unit. Roquan is an alpha-dog in the Patrick Willis mold.
10. Oakland Raiders: Vita Vea, DT. Washington
Analysis: Brute power and an absurd first step, Vea is mammoth-sized (6’4″ 344lbs.) but packs it all into a good body. A 3-down space-eater who would certainly take some attention off Khalil Mack.
11. Miami Dolphins: Mike Hughes, CB. Central Florida
Analysis: Defense ranked 28th in the league in interceptions last season and there’s rather significant need for added talent + depth at the corner position. If not a quarterback (and I don’t expect it to be), pass defense must be a priority.
12. Cincinnati Bengals: Baker Mayfield, QB. Oklahoma
Analysis: Shocker, right? Not really. Andy Dalton will be 31 this year and – after peaking in 2015 – has regressed considerably. His salary also escalates beginning in 2019, just in time for Mayfield to take reigns. Something’s got to give on that idle offense.
13. Washington Redskins: Tremaine Edmunds, ILB. Virginia Tech
Analysis: Heavy down-hill playmaker who can bolster a run defense that was hapless in a few key moments last season. HWS (height/weight/speed) specimen cut from the same cloth as Dont’a Hightower.
14. Green Bay Packers: Rasheem Green, DT/DE. USC
Analysis: An all-encompassing defensive upgrade with an untraceable ceiling. Though boasting a similar skill-set (and pass rushing threat) to Fletcher Cox coming out of Mississippi State, Green’s best fit could come as a 5-tech.
15. Arizona Cardinals: Josh Allen, QB. Wyoming
Analysis: I have extreme hesitancy on Allen, but the need for long-term hope under center is unquestionably required. The physical tools are tantalizing – but he must sit for at least a year.
16. Baltimore Ravens: Orlando Brown, OT. Oklahoma
Analysis: Likely a right tackle only, but there’s nothing wrong with that. Brown reminds me of another former mammoth OU tackle in Phil Loadholt, who was an above-average right tackle for 6 seasons.
17. Los Angeles Chargers: Billy Price, C. Ohio State
Analysis: Multiple needs and the board is set up for all of them, but center may be the most glaring of all. Price is an angry blocker, day-one-ready and can arguably match even Phil Rivers for intensity.
18. Seattle Seahawks: Derwin James, S. Florida State
Analysis: At minimum, Chancellor claims he’ll sit out 2018 and this is a near-perfect solution from a talent perspective. The Legion of Boom is deteriorating and youthful turnover in the secondary is badly required.
19. Dallas Cowboys: Leighton Vander Esch, LB. Boise State
Analysis: Sean Lee is turning 32, has never played 16 games in a season and the Cowboys defense is consistently weakened without him. Vander Esch is an impressive athlete with low mileage, coming off an elite year of all-around production.
20. Detroit Lions: Marcus Davenport, DE. Texas at San Antonio
Analysis: Pass rush ineffectiveness necessitated the mid-season signing of Dwight Freeney and Ziggy Ansah is a free agent. Davenport bundles length, power and movement skills in a high-potential 6’6″ 255lb frame.
21. Buffalo Bills: Denzel Ward, CB. Ohio State
Analysis: Smooth, instinctual athlete who will likely play the majority of his snaps inside. Tre’Davious White was DROY-worthy, but the Bills’ pass defense still finished bottom-half in yards conceded in 2017.
22. Buffalo Bills (f/KC): Da’Ron Payne, DT. Alabama
Analysis: In 2017, the Bills defense ranked 29th in rushing yards conceded per game. Payne is a trim and powerful 3-down nose tackle who can help anchor a run defense early on as a rookie.
23. Los Angeles Rams: Joshua Jackson, CB. Iowa
Analysis: After Trumaine Johnson, who is a free agent, there is little to get excited about at the corner position. Jackson requires polish but possesses tremendous potential. B1G DB of the Year following a phenomenal 8-interception season.
24. Carolina Panthers: Courtland Sutton, WR. Southern Methodist
Analysis: After moving on from Kelvin Benjamin, this establishes an added big-bodied physical presence out wide for Cam. On the high-end, Sutton functions like Marques Colston did and can provide a consistently reliable target.
25. Tennessee Titans: James Daniels, C. Iowa
Analysis: Though he must continue to fill out his frame and strength is to be developed, Daniels can play all three interior positions along the O-line, where stability is needed. Titans have valued blockers with premium picks before.
26. Atlanta Falcons: Isaiah Wynn, OG. Georgia
Analysis: Fleet-footed college tackle with Pro Bowl potential at guard moving forward – and an ideal schematic fit in a ZBS.
27. New Orleans Saints: Christian Kirk, WR. Texas A&M
Analysis: Doesn’t quite replace the vertical threat lost when Cooks was dealt, but Kirk’s style of play is similar to that of Odell Beckham leaving LSU. Lack of stability in Aggies’ quarterback situation hampered production.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers: Ronnie Harrison, S. Alabama
Analysis: Heavy, productive, down-hill defender tied into an athletic and imposing 6’3″ 215lb frame. More importantly, ready to help out from day one.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars: Dallas Goedert, TE. South Dakota State
Analysis: Relatively unpolished as a blocker, but there may not be a more dynamic route-runner and receiver from the tight end position in this class. Seems wildly unlikely a quarterback is considered here.
30. Minnesota Vikings: Mike McGlinchey, OT. Notre Dame
O-line took a big step forward in 2017 and Elflein is a stud, but further reinforcement is needed. McGlinchey is a four-position blocker and would help immediately wherever he’s plugged.
31. New England Patriots: Taven Bryan, DT. Florida
Analysis: Piece of clay with tremendous upside. Lack of top-end collegiate production won’t prevent a confident coach like Belichick from acquiring such a talent. Patriots are quirky on draft day but always value defense early.
32. Philadelphia Eagles: Rashaan Evans, LB. Alabama
Analysis: Ideal inside-outside fit in a base 4-3 front with impressive lateral movement abilities. Explosive box defender who doesn’t get swallowed or stuck to blockers.
(Round 2)
33. Cleveland Browns: Isaiah Oliver, CB. Colorado
Analysis: Size/speed/length athlete + ball skills. Tremendous potential at the top of round two, and can also help as a returner.
34. New York Giants: Ronald Jones III, RB. USC
Analysis: Committee rushing approach isn’t working and RJ3 is a home run hitter with world class speed. Jamaal Charles 2.0.
35. Cleveland Browns (f/HOU): Justin Reid, S. Stanford
Analysis: Well-rounded, complete safety with good instincts and athleticism. “Student of the game”.
36. Indianapolis Colts: Derrius Guice, RB. LSU
Analysis: Uber-talent. Top 15 player based on 2016 tape but dealt with injuries in 2017.
37. New York Jets: Lamar Jackson, QB. Louisville
Analysis: Playmaker in every sense – supremely effective passing on the move, but requires polish. Good situation sitting a year behind McCown.
38. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Arden Key, DE. LSU
Analysis: Defense is a mess and Tampa only mustered 22.0 sacks in 2017 – good for worst in the league. Key has double-digit sack potential.
39. Chicago Bears: Anthony Miller, WR. Memphis
Analysis: Reminiscent of Antonio Brown’s electric Central Michigan tape. Stat-freak who eats with feet despite diminutive physique.
40. Denver Broncos: Sony Michel, RB. Georgia
Analysis: Strong north-south rusher capable of hitting home runs, and he’s accustomed to running as part of a tandem/committee.
41. Oakland Raiders: Donte Jackson, CB. LSU
Analysis: Lacking in overall size, but might be the fastest corner available in this class. Adds a sorely required element to a cornerback group that must start over.
42. Miami Dolphins: Will Hernandez, OG. UTEP
Analysis: Interior O-line stability is desperately needed, and Hernandez started 37 games at LG in four years. LOVES a trench fight.
43. New England Patriots (f/SF): Jaire Alexander, CB. Louisville
Analysis: Jason Verrett 2.0 – probably a top 15 pick if he were taller, but size means less for Patriots when evaluating DBs.
44. Washington Redskins: James Washington, WR. Oklahoma State
Analysis: Adds a downfield element not currently present on the roster and Alex Smith is locked in at $71M guaranteed – he needs support.
45. Green Bay Packers: Harold Landry, DE/OLB. Boston College
Analysis: Coming off a down year, but looked to be college football’s most fearsome edge rusher in 2016 with 16.5 sacks (and 22.0 TFL).
46. Cincinnati Bengals: Martinas Rankin, OT. Mississippi State
Analysis: Might be at tackle, might be at guard, but he’s a 4-position blocker and enters the league ready to play now.
47. Arizona Cardinals: Simmie Cobbs Jr. WR. Indiana
Analysis: Life after Larry Fitzgerald’s retirement could be rough; might be best to groom a prospect with a similar skill-base under him.
48. Los Angeles Chargers: Terrell Edmunds, S. Virginia Tech
Analysis: Tremaine’s older bro; big-bodied, downhill safety adept in coverage. Willing tackler in the box and can physically match NFL tight ends.
49. New York Jets (f/SEA): Harrison Phillips, DT. Stanford
Analysis: High-motor, power lineman with violent hands. 15.0 sacks over the last two seasons. Steps off the bus pissed off.
50. Dallas Cowboys: Desmond Harrison, OT. West Georgia
Analysis: Texas transfer might be the premier ‘boom or bust’ prospect in 2018; mouthwatering dimensions and talent base. Collins eventually slides back inside.
51. Detroit Lions: Maurice Hurst, DT. Michigan
Analysis: (Very) poor man’s Aaron Donald who can provide a consistent leverage-based pass-rush inside. Would be supreme value.
52. Baltimore Ravens: D.J. Moore, WR. Maryland
Analysis: B1G WR of the Year; combines strength + speed, Moore is a fantastic YAC threat and volume catcher.
53. Buffalo Bills: Mason Rudolph, QB. Oklahoma State
Analysis: If you’re going to select a quarterback who’s at least one year away from meaningful snaps, better to do it on day two.
54. Kansas City Chiefs: Braden Smith, OG. Auburn
Analysis: The Olathe, Kansas-native ideally projects to guard (with swing-tackle versatility). It’s imperative to protect Mahomes while he acclimates.
55. Carolina Panthers: Kyzir White, S. West Virginia
Analysis: Complete safety and the ideal frame + skill base for an NFL safety. Ascending quickly.
56. Buffalo Bills (f/LAR): Frank Ragnow, C. Arkansas
Analysis: Experienced captain with guard versatility; natural replacement for the retiring Eric Wood.
57. Tennessee Titans: Andrew Brown, DE. Virginia
Analysis: Fits the 3-4 end profile perfectly and proved to be a penetrative force when rushing from in or out over the past two years.
58. Atlanta Falcons: Derrick Nnadi, DT. Florida State
Analysis: Squatty three-down nose tackle in a base 4-3 with impressive lateral movement skills; Poe, Rubin up for free agency.
59. San Francisco 49ers (f/NO): Kerryon Johnson, RB. Auburn
Analysis: Whether Carlos Hyde returns or not, more is needed; Kerryon can be the workhorse in any offense.
60. Pittsburgh Steelers: Malik Jefferson, LB. Texas
Analysis: Who knows if Shazier will play again and Pittsburgh badly missed the range he provided at the position. Supreme value.
61. Jacksonville Jaguars: Jamarco Jones, OT. Ohio State
Analysis: Profiles well at either tackle spot and allows the Jags to reshuffle the deck along the O-line where necessary.
62. Minnesota Vikings: R.J. McIntosh, DT. Miami (FL)
Analysis: Height/weight/speed defender, just how Zim likes ’em. His dynamic skill-set would offer creative possibilities.
63. New England Patriots: Mike Gesicki, TE. Penn State
Analysis: Gronk is pondering retirement and Marty Bennett could be cut or retire; Gesicki is a Jeremy Shockey clone and helps in the red zone immediately.
64. Cleveland Browns (f/PHI): Carlton Davis, CB. Auburn
Analysis: Modern long-limbed press-man boundary corner; boasts terrific ball skills.
Let me have it on Twitter: @NFLDraftUpdate

Caputi's Final 2017 NFL Mock Draft

Here we go, football fans – the big day is here.
1. Cleveland Browns: Myles Garrett, DE. Texas A&M
Quarterback rumors are on sale, but no one’s buying. There’s an obvious dearth of talent in Cleveland and fortunately the most talented player in this class also addresses a considerable need. Note: Browns defense ranked No. 30 in sacks last year (26.0)
2. San Franciso 49ers: Mitch Trubisky, QB. North Carolina
New General Manager. New Head Coach. New Quarterback? The organization’s current situation under center is concernedly comprised of Brian Hoyer and Matt Barkley. Shanahan gets his prototype. Note: 49ers had the league’s worst-ranked passing offense in 2016.
3. Chicago Bears: Jamal Adams, S. Louisiana State
An impact player is needed in the defensive secondary here and there may not be a safer player in this class. Da Bears have lacked a tone-setting defender since Brian Urlacher’s retirement; Adams fits the bill. Note: Bears defense conceded 399 points last season (ninth-worst in the league).
4. Jacksonville Jaguars: Leonard Fournette, RB. Louisiana State
In a make-or-break season for Blake Bortles the franchise is well placed to support its fourth-year quarterback while still solving a position of concern. Doug Marrone is given a physically imposing specimen with long speed. Note: Jacksonville’s 101.9 rushing yards per game ranked 22nd-best in 2016.
5. Tennessee Titans: Marshon Lattimore, CB. Ohio State
Long-time starting cornerback Jason McCourty was jettisoned for economic reasons and despite the signing of Logan Ryan, help remains sorely required at the position. The former Buckeye is a gifted athlete with an exciting future if hamstrings issues don’t continue to flare up. Note: Titans defense begrudgingly boasted the NFL’s 30th-ranked passing defense last year.
6. New York Jets: O.J. Howard, TE. Alabama
If Gang Green isn’t feeling a quarterback here (and the belief entering the day is they aren’t), this is represents a tantalizing alternative. Elite pass-catching potential + nicely refined blocking skills in a position of significant need. Note: The last tight end to be selected No. 6 overall (or higher)? Vernon Davis in 2006.
7. Los Angeles Chargers: Malik Hooker, S. Ohio State
The vintage Eric Weddle era already feels like a lifetime ago and the organization is desperate for a playmaker in the secondary. Ohio State produced last year’s Defensive Rookie of the Year for the team – double dipping is allowed. Note: Chargers defense allowed the 4th-most points in the NFL in 2016 (423 total).
8. Carolina Panthers: Christian McCaffrey, RB. Stanford
Provides much-needed electricity and can hurt a defense in a multitude of ways. Think outside the box here – position and role can change on any down; he runs, he catches, he scores touchdowns when in space. Note: Panthers offense finished middle of the pack in total yards (19th) and touchdowns (17th).
9. Cincinnati Bengals: Solomon Thomas, DE. Stanford
Michael Johnson is now 30 and the quietly-elite Carlos Dunlap becomes a free agent after 2018. Cincy, more so than most, values pass rushing options. Thomas is an active power-edge reminiscent of vintage Aaron Kampman (2006-2007). Note: Bengals defense had 9.0 less sacks in 2016 than in 2015.
10. Buffalo Bills: Marlon Humphrey, CB. Alabama
A similar profile to the now-departed Stephon Gilmore: comfortable in press-man, combining length + speed with an eagerness to intervene in run defense. Not much on the roster past Ron Darby. Note: Humphrey created 8 turnovers in two years (five interceptions, three forced fumbles).
11. New Orleans Saints: Haasan Reddick, LB. Temple
Though cornerback is by far the bigger concern, this selection represents more talent value. Nollins’ added some depth at linebacker, but Reddick has 2-3 position versatility and flashed elite pass rushing proficiency as a senior in 2016. Note: Saints defense placed 27th in sacks last season (30.0).
12. Cleveland Browns: Mike Williams, WR. Clemson
Were quarterback a real priority, I find it difficult to believe they’d pass on “their guy” at No. 1. Instead, Cleveland opts to add some weaponry for Kessler & Co after upgrading the defense earlier. Kenny Britt is barely a short-term solution and Williams could create a mouthwatering duo with last year’s 1st round draft choice Corey Coleman. Note: In 2016, Browns placed 27th in receiving yards per game (230.8) and t-30th in receiving touchdowns (15).
13. Arizona Cardinals: Pat Mahomes, QB. Texas Tech
Never look a gift horse in the mouth – particularly when the gift is a quarterback. Arizona is in the optimal situation of being able to give a redshirt year to whomever it taps as its future under center. Highly gifted, in-time Mahomes could prove to be the best passer this class produces. Note: In 2012 – a year before Carson Palmer’s arrival – the Cards ranked 28th in passing yards per game.
14. Philadelphia Eagles: Derek Barnett, DE. Tennessee
Supreme value, as he could’ve crept into the top 10. Tremendous production with 32.0 sacks in three seasons of starting. Barnett is as prolific in the classroom as he is on-field; great character. Marcus Smith hasn’t panned out and Chris Long is a stop-gap. Note: Eagles defense was t-16th in sacks last season (34 total).
15. Indianapolis Colts: Takkarist McKinley, DE/OLB. UCLA
Robert Mathis has rode off into retirement and incomes a fresh-faced motor edge in his likeness. McKinley enters the NFL coming off a better year than some remaining counterparts in the same role. Note: Indy’s defense placed 19th in the league with 33.0 sacks last season.
16. Baltimore Ravens: Corey Davis, WR. Western Michigan
The current wide receiver situation in Baltimore is shocking. If Breshad Perriman can put things together, great – it’s a bonus, but otherwise reinforcements are needed. Davis, and his four years of absurd production, are a safe selection here. Note: Ravens offense finished 2016 with 20 receiving touchdowns, tied for 21st in the league.
17. Washington Redskins: Jonathan Allen, DL. Alabama
The (medical-related?) slide ceases, much to the Skins’ benefit. Though some more disruption depth off the edge would help, this is tremendous value. A top 3-5 talent if healthy, Washington can easily improve its 3-4 base trench-play. Note: Last year, the Redskins’ defense placed 9th in both sacks (38.0) and yards per game (119.8).
18. Tennessee Titans: John Ross, WR. Washington
Front office has taken care to ensure Mariota is continuously supported in his development and an injection of electricity is needed. Ross is often miscast as a one-dimensional vertical threat, but he boasts elite speed and (as of today) B+  route running skills. Note: (At 232.5) Titans offense ranked 25th in overall receiving yards per game last season.
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Dalvin Cook, RB. Florida State
A tornado of uncertainty surrounds Doug Martin’s future with the Bucs and the chance to grab a special all-around workhorse is too tempting to pass on. And he’s only about a four hour drive away. Note: Bucs rushing offense ranked 24th in the league last season (101.0).
20. Denver Broncos: Cam Robinson, OT. Alabama
His combination of length and size could allow him to cover 3-4 positions in the NFL. If the whole long-term left tackle thing doesn’t pan out, he projects to be an elite guard/right tackle. Note: Denver conceded a 24th-ranked 40.0 sacks in 2016.
21. Detroit Lions: Reuben Foster, LB. Alabama
Victim of circumstance (and maybe some pre-draft character questions), as he’s undoubtedly a top 10 talent in this class. Detroit is gifted an elite falling talent at arguably its greatest position of need. Note: Lions defense finished middle of the pack (15th) in total yards conceded per game last season (354.8).
22. Miami Dolphins: Forrest Lamp, OG. Western Kentucky
The franchise has shown the willingness to invest prominent picks in reinforcing the offensive line. Laremy Tunsil kicks out to left tackle and Forest Lamp, at guard, is arguably the most ready-to-play blocker in this class. Note: Phins allowed the 14th-most QB hits in the league last year.
23. New York Giants: David Njoku, TE. Miami (FL)
G-Men have invested prominent picks into their OL recently and brought in D.J. Fluker as well. This could finally be the year they address the need for a dynamic tight end, and Njoku is a special athlete. Note: NYG ranked 18th in receiving yards per game (251.7) last season.
24. Oakland Raiders: T.J. Watt, OLB. Wisconsin
It’s a great spot for a corner (among other defensive positions), but the organization is in dyer need of pass rush help. “Little” Watt gets to the quarterback and probably shouldn’t be available here. Note: Raiders finished last in the league with 25.0 team sacks in 2016.
25. Houston Texans: DeShaun Watson, QB. Clemson
He’s not the ideal Bill O’Brien profile, but you want your quarterback to be an alpha-male personality who performs best in big situations. Houston went to the playoffs with poor play under center in 2016, so there’s little pressure to do “too much” in his rookie campaign. Note: In 2016, Texans ranked last in average yards per pass attempt (5.9).
26. Seattle Seahawks: Kevin King, CB. Washington
Perfectly suits the profile of what’s desired on the boundary in Seattle and he’s a local product. The Legion of Boom core is aging fast and Richard Sherman’s situation is awkwardly uncertain. Note: ‘Hawks defense conceded 7.2 yards per reception last season, tying them for 15th in the NFL.
27. Kansas City Chiefs: Zach Cunningham, ILB. Vanderbilt
Derrick Johnson is 34 and coming off a ruptured Achilles tendon in 2016. They reinforce the interior linebacker spot with a big search-and-destroy playmaker. Note: Chiefs gave up the 7th-most rushing yards per game (121.1) last season.
28. Dallas Cowboys: Tre’Davious White, CB. Louisiana State
The position needs to be addressed early and the ‘Boys are fortunate to see an experienced man-capable available here. Note: Dallas conceded the 7th-most passing yards per game (260.4) in 2016.
29. Green Bay Packers: Alvin Kamara, RB. Tennessee
Offense lacks a workhorse in the ground-game and there’s 3-down value here. Exciting do-it-all talent if perceived character concerns can be overcome. Note: Pack came in at 20th in rushing yards per game (106.3) last season.
30. Pittsburgh Steelers: Charles Harris, DE/OLB. Missouri
There’s little behind the soon-to-be 39-year-old James Harrison on the edge opposite Bud Dupree. Harris is a self-motivater with the ideal skill-set for a 3-4 conversion rusher. Note: Pittsburgh conceded the 10th-fewest points (327) in the league in 2016.
31. Atlanta Falcons: Jordan Willis, DE. Kansas State
Ascending prospect who has improved in each of his last three-years as a starter, including a strong pre-draft process. Active and instinctual, a bargain for a team with very few needs. Note: Atlanta conceded the 8th-most yards per game (371.2) in 2016 on defense.
32. New Orleans Saints (via Patriots): Rasul Douglas, CB. West Virginia
Surprise. Former JUCO, one (elite) year wonder with 8 interceptions in 2016. Physically he combines size and modern prototype length. Cornerback must be addressed with one of their two picks. Note: Nollins’ allowed the most passing yards per game (273.8) in 2016.
Call me an idiot on Twitter: @NFLDraftUpdate

Final 2015 Mock Draft

As I have stated too often in the past, I don’t like doing mocks because as soon as there is a trade, the whole thing is wrong. There will be trades, and there could be many.
In recent weeks, there has been much talk on teams supposedly trying to trade up for Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota. While that may be true, I feel that in reality, there are clubs picking after about the five slot who want both Mariota and Winston gone so another positional player is left for them to take. These are the teams that are pushing these rumors.
While I believe the Mariota will eventually be a solid NFL quarterback, he is presently a work in progress and will need a couple of years to develop before he is ready to step in and lead a team. Do you take that type of player in the top five? I wouldn’t, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen.
Also, regardless of what media said about Todd Gurley’s foot at the medical recheck, he still is a risk. He won’t be 100% in practice until right before the start of the regular season, and no one knows for sure if he will be the same back he was before the injury. Only time will tell. Because of that, I have left him out of my first round.
1) Tampa Bay – Jameis Winston – QB – Florida St. – I’m not sure the Bucs really want to take Winston, but they almost have to. They need a quarterback badly, and there is almost no alternative. As I said back in March, they roll the dice here and hope for the best. Winston is the best QB talent in this draft, but character is a huge issue.
2) Tennessee – Marcus Mariota – QB – Oregon – In my last mock, I said that Tennessee could very well select Mariota and I still feel that way. The only way that changes is if San Diego offers Phillip Rivers, which, contrary to what many feel, has not happened as of yet. Also, if a club wants to move up and offers a bounty of draft picks, the Titans could move down. Regardless, it looks as if Mariota will go in the top two, and that will make the clubs in the next few positions happy.
3) Jacksonville – Leonard Williams – DT – USC – There are many, including myself, who have Williams as the highest rated player in the draft. He is a defensive difference maker, and that is what the Jags need. They could also go for Dante Fowler who is the best edge rusher. Either way, the Jags win.
4) Oakland – Amari Cooper – WR – Alabama – If Jacksonville selects Williams, then I feel that the Raiders will select Cooper who is the best offensive playmaker in the draft. In this mock, Fowler is still available, but because they took Khalil Mack last year, I think they would pass on Fowler. If Williams gets by Jacksonville, then the Raiders will jump on him.
5) Washington – Dante Fowler – OLB/DE – Florida – A few weeks ago, I don’t think the Redskins felt they had a shot at Fowler. With the QB’s going one and two, that changes. This could be a great pick for Washington and give them a strong pass rusher.
6) New York Jets – Vic Beasley – OLB – The Jets may want to draft a QB, but there isn’t one here to take. They have a huge need for a pass rusher, and Beasley is one of the best in the draft. He fits what Bowles likes in an OLB/pass rusher
7) Chicago – Kevin White – WR – West Virginia – I feel the Bears have one or two players they will select if they are still on the board at 7. If neither is available, I can see them trading down 5 or 6 slots. White could be the type of player they stay for. That said, if the draft goes as I have it here, there might not be a player that teams below want to move up for. The price is too high.
8) Atlanta – Bud Dupree – OLB – Kentucky – Yes, I have Dupree as my most overrated player in the draft. I still feel that way. Dupree has to send out a thank you to Shane Ray for allowing himself to get busted with pot three days before the draft. Dupree has the natural physical traits, but I don’t see those same traits on tape. The Falcons are hoping Dupree can turn that around.
9) New York Giants – Andrus Peat – OT – Stanford – Some people will have Brandon Scherff here, and he would be a good selection. I feel that Scherff is better suited to play inside. Peat is a natural tackle, is still very young, and has played in an NFL type system. He also has a ton of upside.
10) St. Louis Rams – Brandon Scherff – OT/OG – Iowa – The Rams still have to shore up their offensive line. Last year’s number one, Greg Robinson, will move to tackle. That opens a spot at guard and Scherff can come in and play guard and tackle. Some people have him as the top offensive lineman in this draft. If they don’t go O-Line, it could be wide receiver.
11) Minnesota – Trae Waynes – DC – Michigan State – The NFC North is loaded with tall receivers and you need tall corners to match up. Waynes is the best corner in this draft and helps Minnesota upgrade their defense. If they don’t make this selection, they could very well choose a wide receiver.
12) Cleveland Browns – DeVante Parker – WR – Louisville – There are a number of people who have Cleveland selecting Danny Shelton at this spot. It’s too early for Shelton. He is a excellent nose tackle, but he is only a two down player in the NFL. The Browns will hope that he is there at #19.
13) New Orleans Saints – Randy Gregory – OLB – Nebraska – This is a roll the dice selection. If Gregory didn’t have his issues he would be a top 10 pick, so getting him at 13 is a bit of a bargain. Still, the Saints have to keep their fingers crossed that he stays clean.
14) Miami Dolphins – Breshad Perriman – WR – Central Florida – The Dolphins could go O-Line or wide receiver. Perriman is a Dez Bryant clone who has the speed to get deep and can play a physical game.
15) San Francisco – Arik Armstead – DE – Oregon – The 49ers are looking at the upside with this pick. Armstead is still very young and learning how to play, but he has unlimited potential with his freakish physical traits.
16) Houston Texans – Ereck Flowers– OT – Miami– I look at the Texans offensive line, and it just doesn’t excite me. Drafting offensive lineman is usually sound decision making. Flowers can come in and start at tackle or guard and will upgrade the unit.
17) San Diego Chargers – Melvin Gordon – RB – Wisconsin – Todd Gurley may be the better running back prospect, but he is coming off a severe ACL injury and may not be ready to start the season. There is also no guarantee that he will come back as good as he was before the injury. Gordon is a far safer choice. Still, Gordon has to improve his inside run skills and pass blocking. That said, when he gets in the open field it’s usually 6 points!
18) Kansas City Chiefs – Nelson Agholor – WR – USC – I have had Agholor high on my wide receiver list for months. My only concern was top end speed. He proved at Indy that he could run. Nelson is an excellent route runner and also very good after the catch. He will be a very good compliment to Jeremy Maclin.
19) Cleveland – Danny Shelton – DT – Washington – Being patient pays off for the Browns as Shelton is still available. While he won’t be much of a pass rusher, he will be excellent stopping the run. If the Browns don’t go with Shelton, look for them to select an offensive lineman with his pick.
20) Philadelphia – Kevin Johnson – DC – Wake Forest – Corner is a huge need area for the Eagles, and Johnson is considered by many NFL scouts to be a better player than Trae Waynes. He has the height and length that Chip Kelly looks for in a corner.
21) Cincinnati – Malcom Brown – DT – Texas – The Bengals could go in a number of different directions with this pick but they value is there at defensive tackle. Brown showed at Texas that he can play anywhere along the line.
22) Pittsburgh – Landon Collins – DS – Alabama – With Troy Polamalu retired, the Steelers have a need in the secondary. General Manager Kevin Colbert never makes the flashy pic, rather, he always makes the right pick. The right pick is Alabama safety Landon Collins who will step in and replace Polamalu.
23) Detroit – Eddie Goldman – DT – Florida State – I feel safe in saying that the Lions will select a defensive lineman here. Goldman has versatility to go along with strength and power. They could also look at Oklahoma defensive tackle Jordan Phillips.
24) Arizona – Cam Erving – OC/OT – Florida State – This is where need and value come together. Erving has versatility in that he can play anywhere along the offensive front. Another position to look at here is inside linebacker, but there may not be an inside ‘backer worth taking at this slot.
25) Carolina Panthers – T.J. Clemmings – OT – Pittsburgh – Yes, I know that Clemmings struggled at the Senior Bowl, but he is a player who has only played the position for two years and will keep getting better. If the Panthers don’t draft an offensive lineman, I feel they will take a defensive lineman.
26) Baltimore – Byron Jones – DC – Connecticut – I had Kevin Johnson is this spot two months ago but his stock has gone up. Jones may be the most athletic corner in the draft but his tape doesn’t match his athleticism. Still there is a lot of upside with this player.
27) Dallas – Jordan Phillips – DT – Oklahoma – Phillips has the kind of traits that Rod Marinelli loves. Marinelli can turn Phillips into a perennial Pro Bowler.
28) Denver Broncos – D.J. Humphries – OT – Florida – As I said in March, The Broncos need athletic tackles with Peyton Manning at quarterback. Humphries, while still raw, is one of the most athletic lineman in the draft.
29) Indianapolis – Shane Ray – OLB/DE – A week ago Ray was looked at as a possible top 10 selection. There is a reported foot problem, but the medical staff will answer that concern. Ray also was dumb enough to get busted Monday morning with a bag of pot in his car. At #29, Ray becomes a bargain value.
30) Green Bay – Ron Darby – DC – Florida St. – There may be a few corners that have a little more talent than Darby but they all have issues, and Ted Thompson usually stays away from those type of players. Another player who could go at this slot is Mississippi State ILB Benardrick McKinney.
31) New Orleans – Mario Edwards Jr. – DE – Florida St – Edwards has been climbing teams draft boards since his outstanding pro day in early April. He has experience in playing in this type of scheme and will give the Saints another pass rusher.
32) New England – Marcus Peters – DC – Washington – I keep giving Peters to the Patriots and for the same reason. Bill Belichick has a history of working well with players with issues. On talent alone, Peters should have been drafted long before this selection.
Follow Greg on Twitter @greggabe

NFP 2015 Mock Draft 2.0

Now that we have gotten through the first phase of free agency, it’s easier to try and project a mock draft. Still, it’s like throwing darts at a board and hoping some stick. As we get closer to the draft we will, of course, update and look for at least one or two more mocks this year.
1) Tampa Bay – Jameis Winston – QB – Florida St. The Bucs are in a catch-22 situation. If they select Winston and his issues continue, Lovie and the front office are damned. If they don’t take him and he turns out to be a very good NFL QB, they are also in trouble. My guess is they roll the dice and hope for the best. Winston is, without doubt, the best QB in the draft.
2) Tennessee – Leonard Williams – DT – USC – The Titans are also looking for a quarterback and could take Mariota, but Williams is clearly the best player on the board.
3) Jacksonville – Dante Fowler – DE/OLB – Florida – The Jags will be getting a home grown pass rusher in Fowler. Great fit for their scheme.
4) Oakland – Amari Cooper – WR – Alabama – Some have Kevin White at this spot, but I will go with the career production. Cooper gives the Raiders a much needed weapon.
5) Washington – Shane Ray – OLB – Missouri – The pick will be an edge rusher. If it’s not Ray, it will be Beasley or Gregory.
6) New York Jets – Marcus Mariota – QB – Oregon – I don’t really think the Jets will draft Mariota, I just think he will go in this slot. Expect the Jets to trade down here.
7) Chicago – Kevin White –WR – West Virginia – This is also a prime trade down slot. If the Bears stay they will grab the receiver but look for a trade down and then they will draft a D-Lineman.
8) Atlanta – Vic Beasley – OLB – Clemson – He gives the Falcons the edge rusher they need. Gregory could also be the choice here.
9) New York Giants – Andrus Peat – OT – Stanford If Eli is going to be successful the Giants need to protect him. I have Peat as the best tackle in this draft.
10) St. Louis – Devante Parker – WR – Louisville – Parker gives new QB Nick Foles a quality big target.
11) Minnesota – Brandon Schreff – OT – Iowa – The Vikings did not do a very good job protecting Bridgewater last year. This pick upgrades the O-Line and Schreff can play tackle or guard.
12) Cleveland – Randy Gregory – OLB – Nebraska – Gregory is the best edge rusher left on the board and the Browns could use more pass rush talent.
13) New Orleans – Arik Armstead – DE – Oregon – The Saints claim they want to build up the defense in this draft. Armstead can play inside or outside and helps with that goal.
14) Miami – Trae Waynes – DC – Michigan State – The best corner on the board and it’s a need position for the Dolphins.
15) San Francisco – Benardrick McKinney – Mississippi St – McKinney is clearly the best ILB in this draft and right now the 49ers done have any. Fifteen may be a bit too high for McKinney and San Fran could look to trade down a few slots.
16) Houston – La’el Collins – OT – LSUSome analysts have Collins as the best tackle in the draft. This would be a solid pick for the Texans.
17) San Diego – Melvin Gordon – RB – Wisconsin – In my first mock I had Indiana’s Tevin Coleman going here. Coleman hasn’t worked out yet because of injury until we find out how he works out, I will put Gordon here. Gordon did a good job at both the combine and his pro day catching passes, a perceived weakness.
18) Kansas City – Jaelen Strong – WR – Arizona St – Yes, I know the Chiefs signed Jeremy Maclin. But they need more than just him at the wide out position. Strong is just beginning to come into his own as a receiver. He has a lot of upside.
19) Cleveland – Danny Shelton – DT – Washington – Gregory gives the Browns a pass rusher, Shelton may be the best run stuffer in the draft.
20 )Philadelphia – Jalen Collins – DC – LSU – Corner is an area of weakness for the Eagles and Collins gives Philly a tall long corner…the type Kelly likes at the position.
21) Cincinnati – Jordan Phillips – DT – Oklahoma – Phillips still had two years of college eligibility left and has a bright future. He is very athletic for such a big man.
22) Pittsburgh – Landon Collins – DS – Alabama – The best safety in the draft is just what the doctor ordered for the Steelers. He’s a starter the day he signs his contract.
23) Detroit – Eddie Goldman – DT – Florida St – No surprise here after losing Suh and Fairley in free agency.
24) Arizona – Cam Irving – OC/OT – Florida St – Irving can play anywhere along the line. That flexibility is something Arizona will appreciate.
25) Carolina – T.J. Clemmings – OT – Pittsburgh – Clemmings played right tackle at Pitt but he is a natural left tackle. Few in the draft have his overall athleticism.
26) Baltimore – Kevin Johnson – DC – Wake Forest – Johnson is a scheme fit for the Ravens. He’s tall, long and athletic with upside.
27) Dallas – Malcom Brown – DT – Texas – The Cowboys didn’t attempt to re-sign Henry Melton. Brown can come in and play the 3-technique right away.
28) Denver – D.J. Humphries – OT – Florida – With Peyton Manning at quarterback, the Broncos need athletic tackles, Humphries is that type.
29) Indianapolis – Tevin Coleman – RB – Indiana – At 31 years old, Frank Gore is near the end of his career. Coleman will be excellent this year as a rotational back with Gore. He gives Indy some juice at the position.
30) Green Bay – Bud Dupree – OLB – Kentucky – With Mathews playing inside, Dupree give the Pack another athletic edge rusher. He had one of the top workouts at Indy
31) New Orleans – Eli Harold – OLB – Virginia – New Orleans again looks to fix the defense wit the athletic edge rusher. Harold is just an underclassmen with a lot of upside
32) New England – Marcus Peters – DC – Washington – Belichick has had success dealing with players who have issues. He should be able to get the most out of Peters.
Follow Greg on Twitter @greggabe

2015 Mock Draft 1.0

As many of you know, I’m not a big fan of mock drafts, especially this early in draft season. Why? It’s essentially fantasy football, and when you try and do a mock eight weeks before the draft you don’t come close to being right.
Accuracy with mock drafts will be much better after we get through the first wave of free agency. Clubs will sign players in need positions and also lose some key players. In other words, what a club needs today might not be the same as their needs come draft day. That said, here is my best guess at what the first round may look like.
1) Tampa BayJameis WinstonQBFlorida State – This will be interesting. Winston is clearly the best QB in this draft but he has his issues. Having worked with Lovie Smith for a number of years, I know how he feels about some of those issues. Still, the Bucs need a QB badly and Winston is the best one.
2) TennesseeLeonard Williams – DT – USC – The Titans could go in a number of different directions but if they simply go for the best player, it will be Williams.
3) Jacksonville – Dante Fowler – DE -Florida – The Jags need a pass rusher. Fowler being a UF player is the perfect choice.
4) Oakland – Amari Cooper – WR – Alabama – The Raiders need to give Derek Carr some weapons. Cooper is the best receiver in the draft and will be a perfect fit for Oakland.
5) Washington – Trae Waynes – DC – Michigan State – This could be a trade down spot, but if the Redskins stay why not the best corner in the draft? In today’s game you can’t have enough corners.
6) New York Jets – Marcus Mariota – Oregon – Things haven’t worked out so well with Geno. Knowing that the Jets have to get a QB. Coming from the Oregon offense, Marcus isn’t quite ready for prime time but he has a chance to be really good.
7) Chicago – Vic Beasley – OLB – Clemson – The Bears are going to a 3-4 and have a huge need for an athletic edge rusher. I like Beasley better than Ray…very explosive!
8) Atlanta – Shane Ray – OLB – Missouri – I debated between Ray and Gregory here. I chose Ray because I feel he is a better all-around player.
9) New York Giants – Andrus Peat – OT – Stanford The Giants need to get some good young players on the O-Line, I have Peat as the best tackle in the draft. He upgrades the line right away.
10) St. Louis – Kevin White – WR – West Virginia – after his performance at the Combine, some have White ahead of Cooper. Not me.
11) Minnesota – Brandon Scherff – OT – Iowa – Scherff’s ability to play guard or tackle gives the Vikings flexibility. It also takes care of an area of need.
12) Cleveland – Devante Parker – WR – Louisville The Browns ignored this glaring need a year ago. They won’t make that mistake again. Perfect fit for both team and player.
13) New Orleans – Randy Gregory – OLB – Nebraska – You can never have too many pass rushers and Gregory gives the Saints a very good one.
14) Miami – Jalen Collins – DC – LSU – The Dolphins have a need at the position and Collins is my number 2 corner. He is tall, long and fast with upside.
15) San Francisco – Breshad Perriman – WR – Central FloridaOn tape, Perriman looks like a younger version of Dez Bryant. He will step in and play right away and be a difference maker.
16) Houston – La’el Collins – OT – LSU Collins offers versatility. He can play either tackle or guard position. The Texans will use him in the spot where they need him the most. He’s a very strong run blocker and showed at the Senior Bowl he can block wide speed.
17) San Diego – Tevin Coleman – RB – Indiana – The Chargers spent most of last year with an UDFA as their RB. I like Coleman better than Gordon because he has a stronger all –
18) Kansas City – Devin Smith – WR – Ohio State – the Chiefs need a downfield weapon and Smith is that type of player.
19) Cleveland – Danny Shelton – DT – Washington – Shelton is a big wide body who can stuff the run and gives a surprising inside pass rush
20) Philadelphia – Arik Armstead – DE -Oregon – The Eagles could go in many different directions with this pick but either way it will be on defense. Kelly stays close to home with the pick of Armstead.
21) Cincinnati – Jordan Phillips – DL – Oklahoma – At this point of the round, Phillips is just too go to pass up. Can play any position on the defensive front.
22) Pittsburgh – Landon Collins – DS – Alabama – The Steelers need to get younger and more athletic at the safety position. Collins can come n and play right away. He is far and away the best safety in this draft.
23) Detroit – Eddie Goldman – DT – Florida State – I’m assuming that the Lions will lose some people in free agency. Goldman is an explosive inside player.
24) Arizona – Benardrick McKinney – LB – Mississippi State – ILB was an area of weakness for the Cardinals last year. McKinney is the best ILB in the draft. He is also very versatile
25) Carolina – TJ Clemmings – OT – Pittsburgh – This fills the biggest need the Panthers have going into the draft.
26) Baltimore – Kevin Johnson – DC – Wake Forest – Johnson fits the mold of the type of corners the Ravens like to use. He needs to improve on his 40 time form Indy to lock this spot up.
27) Dallas – Carl Davis – DT – Iowa – The Cowboys aren’t bringing back Henry Melton, Davis gives them a big and quick inside guy to replace him.
28) Denver – Ereck Flowers- OT – Miami – I’m looking at value here. Flowers is just too good to pass up.
29) Indianapolis – Cam Irving – OC/OT – Florida State – The Colts need to improve the offensive line. Irving has the ability to play any line position. He can be an instant starter at center, guard or tackle.
30) Green Bay – Maxx Williams – TE – Minnesota – With Aaron Rodgers throwing to him, Williams can become a star in Green Bay. Coming from Minnesota, he is used to playing in the cold.
31) Seattle – Phillip Dorsett – WR – Miami – The Seahawks don’t have a legitimate deep threat on their roster. That’s just what Dorsett is.
32) New England – Marcus Peters – DC – Washington – Belichick has had success dealing with players with issues. If anyone can get the most out of Peters, it’s Belichick.
Follow Greg on Twitter @greggabe