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2018 NFL Mock Draft 3.0 (E arly-Free Agency)

Author: Collyn Foster


Free Agency in the NFL can be the best or worst of times. It just depends on what side of the contract you’re on. Not to take too much away from free agency, but this offseason has made me realize that he best teams in the NFL are not built through free agency. The thought that “they’re free agents for a reason” kept popping into my head. Good NFL teams are built through the draft and complemented with free agents. The Philadelphia Eagles proved my point this season by winning the Super Bowl with a roster primarily built through the draft and complementary free agent pieces. The Colts new GM Chris Ballard gave a little insight into his plans for rebuilding the Colts when he stated: “Stacking drafts on drafts… that’s how you get players who are loyal to the organization,” just furthering my point that this is the best way to build a successful franchise for many years. This year a number of teams will be looking for quarterbacks and there should be a lot of movement, especially at the top of the draft. I hope you enjoy this article and if you have any questions, comments, or concerns you can find my contact information at the bottom of the article. Thank you!

Round 1

1. BROWNS: Sam Darnold, QB

2. GIANTS: Saquon Barkley, RB

3. JETS: Josh Rosen, QB

4. BROWNS: Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB

5. BRONCOS: Josh Allen, QB

6. COLTS: Bradley Chubb, EDGE

7. BUCCANEERS: Quenton Nelson, OG

8. BEARS: Denzel Ward, CB

9. 49ERS: Tremaine Edmunds, LB

10. RAIDERS: Roquan Smith, LB

11. DOLPHINS: Baker Mayfield, QB

12. BILLS: Marcus Davenport, EDGE

13. REDSKINS: Derwin James, S

14. PACKERS: Josh Jackson, CB

15. CARDINALS: Connor Williams, OT

16. RAVENS: Calvin Ridley, WR

17. CHARGERS: Vita Vea, DT

18. SEAHAWKS: Ronnie Harrison, S

19. DALLAS: Courtland Sutton, WR

20. LIONS: De’Ron Payne, DT

21. BENGALS: Arden Key, EDGE

22. BILLS: James Daniels, C

23. RAMS: Mike McGlinchey, OT

24. PANTHERS: Will Hernandez, OG

25. TITANS: Harold Landry, EDGE

26. FALCONS: Isaiah Wynn, OG

27. SAINTS: Rashaan Evans, LB

28. STEELERS: Malik Jefferson, LB

29. JAGUARS: Leighton Vander Esch, LB

30. VIKINGS: Billy Price, OG

31. PATRIOTS: Carlton Davis, CB

32. EAGLES: Kolton Miller, OT

Round 2

33. BROWNS: Isaiah Oliver, CB

34. GIANTS: Chukwuma Okorafor, OT

35. BROWNS: Maurice Hurst, DT

36. COLTS: Derrius Guice, RB

37. COLTS: Braden Smith, OG

38. BUCCANEERS: Sam Hubbard, EDGE

39. BEARS: Christian Kirk, RB

40. BRONCOS: Mike Hughes, CB

41. RAIDERS: Harrison Phillips, DT

42. DOLPHINS: Frank Ragnow, C

43. PATRIOTS: Taven Bryan, DT

44. REDSKINS: James Washington, WR

45. PACKERS: Mike Gesicki, TE

46. BENGALS: Justin Reid, S

47. CARDINALS: Brian O’Neill, OT

48. CHARGERS: Orlando Brown, OT

49. COLTS: Dorance Armstrong Jr., EDGE

50. COWBOYS: Da’Shawn Hand, DT

51. LIONS: Lorenzo Carter, OLB

52. RAVENS: Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, EDGE

53. BILLS: Martinas Rankin, OT

54. CHIEFS: Donte Jackson, CB

55. PANTHERS: Jamarco Jones, OT

56. BILLS: Mason Rudolph, QB

57. TITANS: Kyzir White, S

58. FALCONS: Derrick Nnadi, DT

59. 49ERS: DJ Moore, WR

60. STEELERS: Marcus Allen, S

61. JAGUARS: Lamar Jackson, QB

62. VIKINGS: Tyrell Crosby, OT

63. PATRIOTS: Dallas Goedert, TE

64. BROWNS: DJ Chark, WR

Key Picks:

6. Indianapolis Colts: Bradley Chubb, EDGE

After trading back from the 3rd pick with the New York Jets, the Colts add this year’s 6th, 37th, and 49th picks and a 2019 2nd round pick. They still pick up their guy they were projected to take with the 3rd pick. Personally, taking Chubb with the 6th pick has a lot more value rather than taking him at 3. Although Chubb is one of the best players in the draft, he does have his deficiencies. In Chubb, the Colts are getting a high motor player who can convert speed to power with ease and can effectively play the run. He is a stud edge defender to anchor their switch to a 4–3 defense. They have not had a true stud pass rusher since the Robert Mathis/Dwight Freeney combo years ago. Chubb has the potential and upside to be a player whose impact on the game can be felt on all downs of every play. He is a consistent playmaker who would help this defense around.

18. Seattle Seahawks: Ronnie Harrison, S

This may be a bit high for Harrison but his game has been compared to current Seahawks star Kam Chancellor. Whenever a prospect is compared to a player like Kam and has the tape to back it up, you have to take a hard look at him. This pick would be perfect for the Seahawks, especially after Chancellor went down during the year and much of the Legion of Boom are no longer on the team. It would also give the Seahawks a little bit more flexibility to move on from Earl Thomas, who might be a candidate to walk in free agency in 2019.

39. Chicago Bears: Christian Kirk, WR

The Bears have done very well for themselves this offseason, adding a few solid playmakers on offense for their new franchise quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. The Bears continue to add weapons on the offense with one of the best playmakers in the draft. Kirk is someone who can make plays all over the field and can play on the outside and in the slot. He also can make a significant impact on the return game, taking back 6 returns for touchdowns during his time at Texas A&M. Kirk would be able to come in and play alongside new additions like Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel, and Trey Burton. Adding Kirk to an already potent offense would help Trubisky with his development, and the more weapons y Trubisky has the better his chances are of showing his full potential.

56. Buffalo Bills: Mason Rudolph, QB

The Bills traded with the Bengals to move up from the 21st pick to the 12th pick in the first round. I fully expect the Bills to continue looking to move up and find their own quarterback of the future. In this mock I do not have any trades, so the Bills were stuck with the picks they have, and still get a solid quarterback in the back end of the second round. Rudolph is coming off a solid career at Oklahoma State and showed that he could be a difference maker under center. After watching him at the Combine I saw that he has the potential to be an excellent pocket passer in the league. The Bills have good young weapons on offense to complement anyone who’s under center. Rudolph would be a wise pick after adding to their offensive and defensive line earlier in the draft.

63. New England Patriots: Dallas Goedert, TE

I know what you’re thinking, “Why would the Patriots draft another TE? They already have Gronk!” I agree, this is not the flashiest move to make, but is one that will pay off in a few years. Gronk has shown in the past few seasons that he can play like a dominant, unstoppable force, but also that he struggles with injuries. Gronk’s injury history is what makes this pick logical and a very Belichick move. Bringing in Goedert and allowing him to learn and develop under one of the best tight ends in the league is something that not a lot of other teams can offer. I can see this pick playing out one of two ways. The first is that they bring in Goedert who learns under Gronk, and the Patriots end up with an Aaron Hernandez/Gronkowski duo that would help Tom Brady to continue to sling the ball around until he’s 50. The other way is Goedert is brought in, the Pats begin to groom him as Gronk continues his history of injuries, and Goedert gets his chance to become the new Gronk. Either way, this pick is the best one for the Patriots at this spot, and they should be thrilled to be getting someone like Goedert.

Author: Collyn Foster


Twitter: @Collyn_Foster

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