Sports Blog New York Podcast: 2018 NFL Mock Draft – Quarterbacks
There is a very good chance that the future of New York football will largely be decided on the evening of April 26, 2018. With both the New York Giants and New York Jets sitting at the top of the draft, New York will be in the spotlight early. For the Jets, they were expected to be in the Giants position at #2, but played themselves into the #6 spot, the same spot they selected Jamal Adams last draft. On the other hand, this is the highest the Giants have selected since taking Eli Manning 14 years ago, and could very well select his successor here after one of the most disappointing seasons in recent New York sports history.
General managers Dave Gettleman and Mike Maccagnan could make franchise-altering decisions here with the quarterbacks who could be available to them, but they aren’t the only teams with big decisions to make. Here’s our full SBNY 2018 NFL Mock Draft 1.0.
1. Cleveland Browns: Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma QB
Browns new GM John Dorsey has been vocal about his interest in Mayfield since before he took the job. Newly added consultant Scot McCloughan has also been vocal about Mayfield and claimed he would take him before all of the quarterbacks in this class in October. Dorsey has also surrounded himself with colleagues from his days in Green Bay in which he was a part of drafting Aaron Rodgers and being around Brett Favre. Mayfield, although on the shorter side, certainly has connections to both Favre and Rodgers on and off the field. He is laser accurate, has plus mobility, and a competitive drive that is unrivaled in this class.
2. New York Giants: Josh Rosen, UCLA QB
The Giants had their worst record since 1983, with a new GM and new head coach, they cannot squander away this opportunity to solve their QB situation for the next two decades. Rosen is arguably the most polished passer in this drafted and certainly fits the mold Pat Shurmur likes in his quarterbacks.
3. Indianapolis Colts: Bradley Chubb, N.C. State DE
To be frank, the Colts need a lot of help everywhere. Chubb is a dominant and charismatic player at a premium position. The first step in building a defense is getting a dominant player on the edge, Chubb can and should be that for them. I wouldn’t be surprised if this pick were to be traded to a team that hopes to grab their franchise QB.
4. Cleveland Browns (from HOU): Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama DB
Nick Saban’s favorite player. Fitzpatrick is a versatile defensive back that will make an immediate impact. One of the safest picks in the draft, playing him as a free safety will enable Browns first rounder Jabril Peppers to come down into the box and play the strong safety position he was drafted to play.
5. Denver Broncos: Josh Jackson, Iowa CB
Assuming they land Kirk Cousins and cut Aquib Talib along the way, Jackson is a true number one corner and has terrific ball skills. He played wide receiver as a freshmen and his ability to create turnovers will be extremely valuable for the Bronco’s defense to get back to its dominance.
6. New York Jets: Sam Darnold, USC QB
Jets go back to USC to find their franchise quarterback. Darnold is considered the top QB by many major analysts. While he certainly needs some technical refinement, Darnold is a gamer, who plays his best ball in the biggest moments. He has phenomenal touch and athleticism that will help him thrive at the next level.
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Saquon Barkley, Penn State RB
While some consider him the best player in the draft, the value of the running back is certainly on the rise. Barkley is a terrific athlete and can do it all. Tampa Bay will add another weapon to their already dangerous offense.
8. Chicago Bears: Calvin Ridley, Alabama WR
The wide receiver class is extremely deep and Calvin Ridley’s route running ability puts him to the front of that group. The Bears need a wide receiver that can consistently get open for their young quarterback. Trubisky, Jordan Howard, and Ridley is a very nice offensive trio to build on for new head coach Mike Nagy, who was the Chiefs’ offensive coordinator last season under Andy Reid.
9. San Francisco 49ers: Quenton Nelson, Notre Dame OG
The best player in the draft, plain and simple. A dominant prospect who will dominate at the next level. Shanahan loves to run the ball and what better than a monster guard to aid that attack. Another stud falls into John Lynch’s lap.
10. Oakland Raiders: Tremaine Edmunds, Virginia Tech LB
While a lot of the spotlight is on UGA LB Roquan Smith, Edmunds is actually the better prospect that can do everything. All the athleticism in the world and at an unrivaled size for a linebacker. Edmunds will give Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin a lot of help and will do any and everything you can imagine from a linebacker, and then some.
11. Miami Dolphins: Vita Vea, Washington DT
Daniel Jeremiah called Vita Vea a more athletic version of the 12th pick from the 2006 draft and 5x Pro-Bowler Haloti Ngata. Suh is getting older and has a hefty price tag. They could plug in the surprisingly athletic 340-pound monster next to him or potentially replace him.
12. Cincinnati Bengals: Connor Williams, Texas OT
Bengals lost Kevin Zeitler and Andrew Whitworth last year and took a wide receiver who played in 17 snaps last year. Not good. They need to protect Dalton, expect them to go offensive line early and often. Williams is very good prospect that seems to do a lot of things well. Should make an impact early for the Bengals.
13. Washington Redskins: Denzel Ward, Ohio State CB
A tad undersized at only 5’10”, Ward is a special talent. He has the speed and quickness to stay with anyone. His size may force him to be bumped inside. With Norman under contract and a recent void from the Fuller trade, look for Ward to immediately impact their defense and minimize the loss of Fuller.
14. Green Bay Packers: Marcus Davenport, Texas-San Antonio DE
Terrific athlete and extremely raw. Reminds people of Ziggy Ansah, the 5th overall pick in the 2013 draft. He is just learning the position and is still growing. He’s added 30 pounds in the last two seasons and look for him to add more in the coming years. Clay Mathews is not the player he used to be, Davenport has the upside to be a special player at the next level.
15. Arizona Cardinals: Josh Allen, Wyoming QB
Arizona currently does not have a QB under contract for 2018. Expect them to sign a veteran and target a rookie in the draft. They are also a possible trade up candidate. Allen has rare physical tools, but lack of production and inconsistent accuracy could cause him to slip further than some anticipate. He can develop into a good quarterback at the next level if he is given the proper time.
16. Baltimore Ravens: Derrius Guice, LSU RB
A phenomenal all-around back. An elite athlete who looks for contact and always finishes his runs. Great vision in-between the tackles. Alex Collins was a nice player last year, but Guice has the ability to be a special player at the next level, he is the best available player here.
17. Los Angeles Chargers: Roquan Smith, Georgia LB
A terrific player. Slightly undersized, but his athleticism makes up for it. Think Ryan Shazier when you see him. He will be all over the field and will give the Chargers an anchor at linebacker to beef up their already impressive front seven.
18. Seattle Seahawks: Orlando Brown, Oklahoma OT
Seattle needs to protect Russell Wilson. Plain and simple. This isn’t the Seattle of old where Wilson just needed to protect the ball. The Seahawks will go as far as Wilson can take them and protecting his blindside with a monstrous prospect like Orlando Brown is a necessity.
19. Dallas Cowboys: Derwin Jones, Florida State S
One of my personal favorites in this class. James is a freak of an athlete that can do basically anything you want a defensive back to do. He will be all over the field, but contrary to the other top rated safety Fitzpatrick, who is best suited as a FS, James is going to do his damage near the LOS as a SS. He has the size and athleticism to dwarf running backs and hang with tight ends. He will be a fun player to watch at the next level. Awuzie and James would be a duo in that Dallas secondary.
20. Detroit Lions: Harold Landry, Boston College EDGE
A raw pass rusher, Landry flashes brilliance. He was fun to watch run around offensive tackles in college but will need to work on hand usage and counters at the next level. I anticipate he struggles early but with time can develop into a reliable pass rusher who can get consistent pressure. With Ansah a free agent Landry could be a far cheaper option.
21. Buffalo Bills: Maurice Hurst, Michigan DT
Due to his size, Hurst is a true 3-technique, and a good one at that. He has the rare ability to get pressure from the interior and that is an invaluable tool for a 4-3 defense. Hurst will be a high impact player at the next level and could slip due to his size. It also should be noted that the Bills are prime trade up candidate and have the picks to do it.
22. Buffalo Bills (from KC): Billy Price, Ohio State C
Unfortunately the Bills lost their starting center to a neck injury and Eric Wood was forced to retire. Price is a terrific athlete with a rare combination of athleticism and strength. He is projected to “wow” at the combine and will be ready to start very early. Big10 offensive linemen have a great track record in the NFL look for Price to be the next Pro-Bowler from that conference.
23. Los Angeles Rams: Isaiah Oliver, Colorado CB
A bigger, longer cornerback, Oliver has potential to be a true lockdown number one corner. He has the physical skillset in man to stick with a team’s best wide receiver. Needs to show more aggressiveness in run support but his cover skills are why he is going to get picked so high. Could be potential replacement if Trumaine Johnson is playing elsewhere next year.
24. Carolina Panthers: Carlton Davis, Auburn CB
Another longer corner, Davis has potential to be a very good corner at the next level. His size and athleticism along with his willingness to hit will be courted by many teams. Carolina can use him to be their number one corner.
25. Tennessee Titans: Da’Ron Payne, Alabama DT
The Titans year after year put all of their higher assets into their offense. What better than a big bull in the middle to anchor a defense? Jurrell Casey is a fantastic player and putting Payne next to him will give them a nice combo. Payne is a true run stuffer who will have success at that with upside for more at the next level.
26. Atlanta Falcons: Isaiah Wynn, Georgia OG
The Falcons have a powerful offense and it is anchored by their talented offensive line. Their right guard is the only weakness. Wynn really did put on a clinic at the Senior Bowl and his stock is surely on the rise. He is an athletic freak that is simply too small to play offensive tackle. Falcons will get a steal that can play any of the interior positions and will add a bit of youth to their aging interior line.
27. New Orleans Saints: Lamar Jackson, Louisville QB
The Saints have reportedly been doing as much work as any team in the quarterback department. With 39 year old Drew Brees up for a new deal, look for them to target someone early to groom behind the surefire Hall of Famer. Lamar Jackson is a once in a generation talent for sure. There is a false narrative being driven about him at the next level. An environment with a great veteran(Brees) and an offensive friendly coach Lamar can develop into an absolute superstar. Jackson is one of the most intriguing players in this draft.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers: Mike Hughes, UCF CB
Another freakish athlete at the cornerback position. Hughes also adds excitement as a return man. He has the skill set and physicality to develop into a number one corner, something Pittsburgh needs so desperately.
29. Jacksonville Jaguars: Courtland Sutton, SMU WR
The Jaguars made a unbelievable leap in 2017 and looking at their roster, they do not have many flaws. Sutton gives them a potential number one wide receiver and someone who can step up if the injured Allen Robinson is on a new team come September. He will be reliable, while he might not ever be a top 5 wide receiver, he will provide a big target for whoever is under center in 2018.
30. Minnesota Vikings: Harrison Phillips, Stanford DT
Harrison Phillips just fits Minnesota. Their defense is incredible but they will have a need at defensive tackle come April. Phillips is a bright kid who understands what he is good at and consistently makes plays. His wrestling background shows up as he finds ways to get himself to the ball. He should be able to contribute right away to one of the better defenses in all of football.
31. New England Patriots: Ronald Jones II, USC RB
Without both Julian Edelman and Brandin Cooks out during the Super Bowl, the one glaring weakness to me was the Patriots lack of playmakers. I know Tom Brady doesn’t need much but every time he found an open man they didn’t make people miss. Ronald Jones is an electric player who can certainly make people miss. He will certainly rejuvenate the Patriots offense and would thrive in their system. He’s got the type of explosion the Patriots are so glaringly missing.
32. Philadelphia Eagles: Rashaan Evans, Alabama LB
The Eagles do not need much, they just defeated the greatest quarterback ever with their backup. They are so offensively sound, but they could take a look at a left tackle like McGlinchey or if one of the longer corners falls to them like a Davis or Oliver. In this mock I have them taking Evans, a versatile linebacker that can do a lot of things. He is a phenomenal blitzer and is good at finding the ball. He would be a good fit for the Eagles already dominant front seven.