2018 NFL Mock Draft 5.0


4/16/2018


Author: Collyn Foster


THE DRAFT IS ALMOST HERE!!! I cannot express how excited I am for this year’s draft. The draft is something I look forward to every year, because it’s everything that I love about football in one giant swoop. It has player analysis, team building, trades, and a couple good underdog stories. The draft is really what inspired me to try and find my way into the football world, and helped me realize that one day I want to be a director of player personnel for a team and go through the draft process myself from the inside the war room. As soon as the Super Bowl concludes, the only thing that is on my mind in a football sense is the draft. I wake up, look at mock drafts, watch film throughout the day, study different prospects, complete scouting reports, and then look at more mock drafts before bed. Free agency is fun and all, but like I and many good coaches and GM’s have said before: “Great teams are built through the draft and complemented through free agency.” There are a number of examples of this across the league, including the Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles. As the draft inches closer, I start to get a little tickle in my gut in anticipation of my favorite 3 days in football.


Round 1

1. BROWNS: Sam Darnold, QB

2. GIANTS: Saquon Barkley, RB

3. JETS: Josh Rosen, QB

4. BROWNS: Denzel Ward, CB

5. BRONCOS: Josh Allen, QB

6. COLTS: Quenton Nelson, OG

7. BUCCANEERS: Derwin James, S

8. BEARS: Bradley Chubb, EDGE

9. 49ERS: Tremaine Edmunds, LB

10. RAIDERS: Roquan Smith, LB

11. DOLPHINS: Baker Mayfield, QB

12. BILLS: Lamar Jackson, QB

13. REDSKINS: Vita Vea, DT

14. PACKERS: Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB

15. CARDINALS: Jaire Alexander, CB

16. RAVENS: Mike McGlinchey, OT

17. CHARGERS: Connor Williams, OT

18. SEAHAWKS: Josh Jackson, CB

19. COWBOYS: Calvin Ridley, WR

20. LIONS: Marcus Davenport, EDGE

21. BENGALS: James Daniels, C

22. BILLS: Maurice Hurst, DT

23. PATRIOTS: Kolton Miller, OT

24. PANTHERS: DJ Moore, WR

25. TITANS: Rashaan Evans, LB

26. FALCONS: Isaiah Wynn, OG

27. SAINTS: Dallas Goedert, TE

28. STEELERS: Ronnie Harrison, S

29. JAGUARS: Leighton Vander Esch, LB

30. VIKINGS: Will Hernandez, OG

31. PATRIOTS: Mike Hughes, CB

32. EAGLES: Mike Gesicki, TE


Round 2

33. BROWNS: Isaiah Oliver, CB

34. GIANTS: Tyrell Crosby, OT

35. BROWNS: Derrius Guice, RB

36. COLTS: Sam Hubbard, EDGE

37. COLTS: Courtland Sutton, WR

38. BUCCANEERS: Ronald Jones, RB

39. BEARS: Christian Kirk, WR

40. BRONCOS: Taven Bryan, DT

41. RAIDERS: Carlton Davis, CB

42. DOLPHINS: Billy Price, C/OG

43. PATRIOTS: Harrison Phillips, DT

44. REDSKINS: Sony Michel, RB

45. PACKERS: DJ Chark, WR

46. BENGALS: Hayden Hurst, TE

47. CARDINALS: Mason Rudolph, QB

48. CHARGERS: Jessie Bates, S

49. COLTS: Nick Chubb, RB

50. COWBOYS: De’Ron Payne, DT

51. LIONS: Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, EDGE

52. RAVENS: Mark Andrews, TE

53. BILLS: James Washington, WR

54. CHIEFS: Donte Jackson, CB

55. PANTHERS: Justin Reid, S

56. BILLS: Ochenna Nwosu, EDGE

57. TITANS: Josh Sweat, EDGE

58. FALCONS: Derrick Nnadi, DT

59. 49ERS: Equanimeous St. Brown, WR

60. STEELERS: Malik Jefferson, LB

61. JAGUARS: Braden Smith, OG

62. VIKINGS: Frank Ragnow, C/OG

63. PATRIOTS: Kyle Lauletta, QB

64. BROWNS: Rasheem Green, DE


Notable Picks:

4. Cleveland Browns: Denzel Ward, CB

I believe this selection will not be by the Cleveland Browns. During the pre-draft workouts for individual teams the Browns decided not to bring in and work out 3 of the top players in this draft: Saquon Barkley, Minkah Fitzpatrick, and Bradley Chubb. To me, this says one of two things– they are going to trade the pick, or take the next best player, Denzel Ward. Adding Ward would not be a bad decision whatsoever. While he is a bit undersized for what teams now look for in the NFL, he is a physical and athletic playmaker that has the ability to be a lockdown corner at the next level. During Ward’s time at Ohio State, he proved that he was yet another very good corner prospect in a long line of great defensive backs to come out of OSU. This pick would not be the most glamorous, but would be a great selection for a rebuilding team like the Browns.


19. Dallas Cowboys: Calvin Ridley, WR

Even before the Cowboys released Dez Bryant, they were in need of help at the wide receiver position. Now, it is all but certain they will draft a wide receiver in the first round. The only question is who will it be? I’m not the first and I certainly won’t be the last, but Calvin Ridley to the Cowboys is a match made in football heaven. Ridley is a speed demon, and after watching his work firsthand at the Combine, he might even be too fast for himself. He’s one of the best route runners in the class and has the speed to burn defenders deep. Adding Ridley to this offense would do wonders, as he would give Dak Prescott a true deep threat and someone who can gain separation over the middle. This pick could’ve been made even before Dez Bryant was released, and now it NEEDS to be made.


36. Indianapolis Colts: Sam Hubbard, EDGE

The Colts have 4 picks in the first two rounds of the draft this year, which is a chance to add 4 starting-caliber players to a roster that looked like one of the worst in the league last year. The Colts should have a lot going for them this season, as they will have a new coaching staff, presumably see the return of their franchise quarterback, and see GM Chris Ballard’s second draft with the team. The team need help in a couple different areas, one of the most significant of which is pass rushing. They can address this in a number of ways, but one of my favorite players in this draft could be the perfect fit for them. Adding Hubbard would make for an easier transition from the 3–4 to the 4–3 defense they are going to start running. He’s a relentless pass rusher that has a motor that never turns off, and is big, physical, and extremely athletic. At Ohio State Hubbard played the 4–3 defensive end/edge role, exactly what the Colts need on this young, up-and-coming defense. Hubbard would add a new element to an already good Colts defensive line.


45. Green Bay Packers: DJ Chark, WR

Chark, like Ridley, really impressed me at the Combine with his mix of size and speed. Like Ridley, Chark would be brought in to replace an established veteran, but in Chark’s case, he would have the best quarterback in the league throwing to him. At LSU, Chark proved he can be a viable deep threat option, but was limited in his production due to poor quarterback play. Bringing in someone like Chark would be ideal for this Packer team that is simply reloading to make another run at a Super Bowl. Anytime Aaron Rodgers is under center, they will have a chance to win the game, regardless of who is around him and who is playing. I believe that Rodgers would have a field day with someone like Chark, as he would be able to use Chark’s size and speed to his advantage and make the offense look close to unstoppable once again.


60. Pittsburgh Steelers: Malik Jefferson, LB

One of the most unfortunate stories this past NFL season was the story of star linebacker Ryan Shazier. During a matchup with the Bengals in Week 13, Shazier went down with a spinal injury that left him lying on the field motionless. This unfortunate injury left a massive void in the Pittsburgh defense. They were already in need of supplementing the linebacker position through the draft, but now they NEED to fill it. Grabbing Jefferson at #60 is a steal for the Steelers, as he is an athletic, instinctive and powerful linebacker who has the ability to play both inside and outside linebacker depending on the package. He is a natural athlete but still very raw when it comes to his reads and reactions. He would have benefited greatly from another year in college, but since he entered the draft and is still on the board for the Steelers, he is the perfect plug and play fix for them at the inside linebacker position. Hopefully we will be able to see him play next to Shazier if the latter is fortunate enough to be able to return to the field in the near future.


Collyn Foster

Blitzalytics Content Strategist

Email: Cmfoster2423@gmail.com

Twitter: @collyn_foster

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