Cleat Geeks

2018 NFL Mock Draft 4.0

  1. Cleveland Browns – QB Sam Darnold (USC)
    The Browns need to pick the right Quarterback of the future after failing every year since 1999. The front office has taken every measure to see the potential and likelihood of success that Darnold could bring. Darnold will not be asked to play immediately like the previous Browns signal-callers with the help of Tyrod Taylor after the trade from Buffalo.
  2. Buffalo Bills – QB Josh Rosen (UCLA) – trade with the New York Giants
    This pick will depend on whether the Browns select Darnold or not. The Giants are also very interested in Darnold but at the same time, they are also very interested in working with Bills GM Brandon Beane. The Giants need picks and the Bills need a future franchise Quarterback while he learns under A.J. McCarron for a season.
  3. New York Jets – QB Baker Mayfield (Oklahoma)The Jets traded from the 6th pick to the 3rd overall pick to avoid the situation that a Quarterback needy team like Buffalo or Arizona avoids trading in front of them. Despite the fact that Rosen is off the board, the Jets are not out of the Quarterback market with an explosive Quarterback who can play immediately like Baker Mayfield.

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  4. Arizona Cardinals – QB Josh Allen (Wyoming) – trade with the Cleveland Browns
    The chase for Quarterbacks continues early with the Cardinals trading up from the 15th pick to select the last elite Quarterback prospect in this Draft. Arizona will be needing to trade a lot to get the Browns to avoid taking RB Saquon Barkley. After the retirement of Carson Palmer, Arizona found answers in Sam Bradford and Mike Glennon. Bradford continues to show that he cannot stay but Allen gets selected as insurance/future franchise QB.
  5. Denver Broncos – CB Denzel Ward (Ohio State)
    GM John Elway couldn’t pull away with a top Quarterback in this Draft but it is probably the better because they have the potential of newly acquired Case Keenum. The Broncos also need to fill in areas all across the board including at the Cornerback position where they traded their man coverage player in Aqib Talib to the Los Angeles Rams.
  6. Indianapolis Colts – DE Bradley Chubb (NC State)
    After taking the trade with the Jets, it is the Colts that walk away with the win after getting more picks and the player they were wanting along in Bradley Chubb. The Colts have a severe lack of talent at the Offensive Line and Defensive Line. The Colts have given up the most sacks last season with 56 but they also accounted for the 2nd lowest in sacks accounted for (25).
  7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – RB Saquon Barkley (Penn State)
    Barkley and Chubb are two of the best players by far in this 2018 NFL Draft but the race for a franchise Quarterback is one of the main attention grabbers. The Buccaneers make a steal in this Draft by addressing their biggest need on the team and select the best player in Barkley. Tampa Bay’s run game was ranked 27th in the nation in rushing yards per game (90.6) and Doug Martin is now gone.
  8. Chicago Bears – G Quenton Nelson (Notre Dame)
    If there was one team that got better in free agency other than the Los Angeles Rams, it would be the Chicago Bears. Not only did they resign CB Kyle Fuller and Prince Amukamara but they also signed multiple reliable veteran Wide Outs for QB Mitchell Trubisky. They did lose G Josh Sutton to free agency to the Miami Dolphins but they have a chance to acquire the best Offensive Lineman in the Draft in Quenton Nelson.
  9. San Francisco 49ers – CB/S Minkah Fitzpatrick (Alabama)
    Last season, the 49ers caught a glimpse of hope winning their last 5 games of the season including against Jacksonville and the Los Angeles Rams. The 49ers were 22nd in the league in passing yards allowed per game (235) and have lost main contributors in defending the pass including S Eric Reid. Adding one of the best playmakers on defense in Minkah Fitzpatrick will improve their pass defense, run defense, and gives much-needed leadership to the 49ers defense.
  10. Oakland Raiders – LB Tremaine Edmunds (Virginia Tech)
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    Oakland had high hopes of success last season in the NFL playoff race but they were one of the most disappointing teams. The Raiders Linebacker corps (excluding the hybrid playing of Khalil Mack) was the worst in the league last season. New Head Coach Jon Gruden will have some input in picking players, he seems to prefer physical stature and consistency which makes Edmunds a prime candidate.

  11. Miami Dolphins – LB Roquan Smith (Georgia)
    Many experts believe that the Quarterback position is needed the most in Miami. Ryan Tannehill will be coming back from injury and most importantly is that Jay Cutler will not. Addressing the defense that was ranked 29th in the league in points allowed per game (24.6) is the main issue for Miami. The Linebackers corp is lacking talent overall.
  12. New York Giants – OT Mike McGlinchey (Notre Dame) – trade with the Buffalo Bills
    The Giants have stated they trust QB Eli Manning for at least one more year and they have missed out on help at Linebackers. Even though the Giants signed OT Nate Solder from the Patriots in the offseason, the Offensive Line continues to be the main issue. Ereck Flowers will likely play better at the Guard position with the selection of McGlinchey.
  13. Washington Redskins – DT Vita Vea (Washington)
    Washington has continued to address the major concern at the 1-technique Defensive Lineman position. The Redskins were last in the league in rushing yards allowed per game (134.1) because of major injuries and the lack of interior pressure. Although Washington needs more Wide Outs, it seems that the signing of Paul Richardson from Seattle might be highly underrated.
  14. Green Bay Packers – DE/OLB Marcus Davenport (UTSA)
    Even though the Packers signed DT/DE Muhammed Wilkinson from the New York Jets due to free agency, the Packers need to acquire a pure and athletic pass rusher who can play hybrid positions. Clay Matthews is more suitable just at Outside Linebacker while the loss of Ahmad Brooks might be bigger than many experts would indicate.
  15. Cleveland Browns – OT Connor Williams (Texas) – trade with the Arizona Cardinals
    Anytime you have to replace a 10-time Pro Bowler/7-time All-Pro Offensive Tackle, it is not going to be the easiest to deal with. Luckily, the trade with the Arizona Cardinals has given the Cleveland Browns a greater chance to acquire a Tackle of 1st round talent such as Williams. The Browns will also to be more aggressive in dual-threat situations with QB Tyrod Taylor, so a younger Lineman helps as well.

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  16. Baltimore Ravens – WR Calvin Ridley (Alabama)
    Ridley’s stock has been falling over worries that he will become a bust even before he gets drafted. Baltimore is desperate for a player outside QB Joe Flacco to make an impact on their 29th ranked passing offense (189 passing yards per game). The new #1 weapon for Flacco in Michael Crabtree will be 31 years old early in the 2018-2019 NFL season.
  17. Los Angeles Chargers – DT Da’Ron Payne (Alabama)
    The Chargers are 31st in the league in rushing yards allowed per game (131.1) and have not addressed the interior Defensive Line. This is giving the indication that the Chargers are very interested in acquiring one of the best interior D-Line early in the 2018 Draft. Payne has been ranked high with Vita Vea in terms of stopping the run. What makes Payne an even more great prospect is that he can pass rush consistently too.
  18. Seattle Seahawks – CB Joshua Jackson (Iowa)
    The Legion of Boom is no more with the departure of CB Richard Sherman. To make matters worse for the Seahawks, they are lacking in terms of talent at the Cornerback as they have not resigned Jeremy Lane and Byron Maxwell. Joshua Jackson might be talented enough to take the starting Cornerback spot opposite CB Justin Coleman.
  19. Dallas Cowboys – S Derwin James (Florida State)
    Defensively, the Cowboys addressed the biggest need by putting a franchise tag on DE DeMarcus Lawrence and then signing DE/OLB Kony Ealy from the Patriots. The next biggest area on defense to add talent at the Safety position. Although James is more of a tackling Safety, he will be a better deep man Defensive Backs than what the Cowboys had last season.
  20. Detroit Lions – DE/OLB Harold Landry (Boston College)
    Bringing back Ezekiel Ansah was a huge goal for the Detroit Lions but the Lions still need more help at pass rush with OLB Tahir Whitehead gone. Having Landry will be big for the Defensive Line and for the Linebacker corps as they can Ansah still to the Defensive End position. Detroit will also have depth in case of injuries again.
  21. New York Giants – RB Derrius Guice (LSU) – trade with the Buffalo Bills
    The Giants experienced many injuries in the 2017-2018 NFL season but none of them were at the Running Back position. The run game was ranked 26th in the league in rushing yards per game (96.8) and two of their top leading rushers from last year are now gone. Adding Jonathan Stewart from the Carolina Panthers will not fix their problems overnight as he is 31.

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  22. Cincinnati Bengals – G/C James Daniels (Iowa)
    Cincinnati’s biggest needs are at the Center and Guard position, which both can be addressed by Daniels. Adding OT Cordy Glenn from the Buffalo Bills is a huge pickup but the Bengals need more interior talent to address their run game that was ranked 31st in the league (85.4 rushing yards per game).
  23. New England Patriots – OT Kolton Miller (UCLA)
    The Patriots lost both Nate Solder and Cameron Fleming, so not only is depth an issue but the Patriots need a starter. Miller is talented enough to make the day 1 start at the Offensive Tackle position that Solder was at. The acquisition of WR Jordan Matthews was enough for the Patriots to worry about Wide Receivers later in the Draft.
  24. Carolina Panthers – WR Christian Kirk (Texas A&M)
    Quarterback Cam Newton needs a #1 Wide Receiver and no one on the roster is currently not fit enough to fill in that role. TE Greg Olsen and RB Christian McCaffrey can’t be the recurring go-to targets in mid-range to deep range passes. Christian Kirk has really boosted his stock since the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine. Kirk could be an Offensive Rookie of the Year candidate if this comes to pass.
  25. Tennessee Titans – LB Rashaan Evans (Alabama)
    Tennessee took a huge loss when ILB Avery Williamson went to the New York Jets via free agency. The Titans must find a suitable replacement for Williamson, which they can find in Rashaan Evans from Alabama or Leighton Vander Esch from Boise. Evans can not only be the Inside Linebacker but can be played at Outside Linebacker for depth, making Evans an efficient and versatile defender for Tennessee.
  26. Miami Dolphins – QB Lamar Jackson (Louisville) – trade with the Atlanta Falcons
    The chase for the Quarterbacks continues once again in a trade that Miami could very well make if they don’t get one of the top four. Although Tannehill is healthy, insurance would have been nice to have instead of Jay Cutler. Even if Jackson does not play much as a passing Quarterback, Jackson would be lethal as RPO (run-pass-option) Quarterback along with WR Kenny Stills and RB Kenyan Drake.Image result for leighton vander esch boise state
  27. New Orleans Saints – ILB Leighton Vander Esch (Boise State)
    The biggest issue for the Saints is to not only add depth but also overall talent at the Middle Linebacker position. Vander Esch will add consistency to the Saints Linebacker corps that was either injured or inconsistent last year. Last year, the Saints nailed their biggest need in CB Marshon Lattimore. Watch for them to do the same with the exact player they are looking for in Leighton.
  28. Jacksonville Jaguars – WR D.J. Moore (Maryland)
    In one short offseason, the Jaguars have lost WR Allen Robinson (to Chicago), WR Allen Hurns (to Dallas), and the Jags cut TE Marcedes Lewis. This is not good for a team who’s Quarterback only passed for 87 yards against the Buffalo Bills in the Wild Card round of the playoffs last season. Moore will be brought in to be either the #1 Receiver or to be another great target with WR Marquise Lee.
  29. Pittsburgh Steelers – DT Taven Bryan (Florida)
    Although Pittsburgh plays in a 3-4 defensive front, it wouldn’t be out of the question that the Steelers play with a 4-3 front a few times, especially with weaker Inside Linebacker. Bryan can also play Defensive End in a pass rush situation whereas some Ends like Tyson Alualu and Stephon Tuitt are more fit for the run defense.
  30. Minnesota Vikings – G Will Hernandez (UTEP)
    The Vikings have filled two of their biggest needs while acquiring two big players in QB Kirk Cousins and DT/DE Sheldon Richardson. Minnesota still has to find two starting Guards and Cornerbacks for the upcoming season. There will be time for the Vikings to find suitable players for these positions but at this point this far in the Draft, the best choice is to select the best player at either position.
  31. New England Patriots – QB Mason Rudolph (Oklahoma State)
    The Patriots are going to try again and acquire Tom Brady’s successor to be the future of New England after trading Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers. This comes after the Patriots get a second 1st round pick from the Los Angeles from the Brandon Cooks trade. This gives the Pats a better chance to acquire that Quarterback as Rudolph’s stock has been climbing rapidly.
  32. Philadelphia Eagles – CB Isaiah Oliver (Colorado)
    The loss of star CB Patrick Robinson to the New Orleans Saints via free agency is huge for the Philadelphia Eagles even if Jalen Mills is ready to step up. Philadelphia will need another great coverage player to fit into the defensive system of the Eagles of playing a large number of Corners. Oliver will likely be the #1 Cornerback for the Eagles eventually as well.

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