The 2018 NFL Draft is quickly approaching and everyone is putting out their mock drafts and debating which QB prospect is best and who will be a bust. Honestly, the talk gets tiresome and it seems the only reason we click on mock drafts at this point it to find out how you can point out how wrong the other person is. With that, here is The Sporting Brews’ first mock draft.
- Cleveland Browns – Sam Darnold, QB, USC – The Browns need their quarterback and there is a lot of speculation Darnold is their guy. Other rumors have Josh Allen going first overall but Darnold doesn’t need as much seasoning.
- New York Giants – Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA – Rosen is probably the most polished of all of the QB prospects though a case can be made for others as well. Rosen should refine his game sitting behind Eli Manning and under Pat Shurmur. There is a lot of speculation Saquon Barkley will be the pick here but the Giants can’t afford not to draft a young quarterback here.
- New York Jets – Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma – Mayfield could be the best QB of the bunch. He certainly has the best, and most consistent game tape of any of the quarterbacks when all things are considered. The Jets need to get off the QB carousel and Mayfield might finally be the answer for them.
- Cleveland Browns – Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State – Barkley will be an option here but the Browns can add a potentially dominant defensive end to team with Myles Garrett and put fear into opposing quarterbacks. Passing on Chubb will be too hard for them to do.
- Denver Broncos – Josh Allen, QB, Wyoming – There is a very good chance the Broncos look elsewhere but given the need for a franchise quarterback it is also hard to see John Elway and company passing on Allen. There is physical talent there but Allen will need a lot of work in order to be a successful NFL quarterback. With Case Keenum in the mix the Broncos can afford to have Allen sit and learn.
- Indianapolis Colts – Quenton Nelson, OG, Notre Dame – Andrew Luck needs protection. Nelson is the best offensive lineman in the draft and will be a cornerstone on the Colts’ line for years.
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State – Some will call this a tumble for Barkley but almost every team picking before Tampa Bay has larger needs. Barkley will settle in perfectly with the Buccaneers. If Barkley is gone then Minkah Fitzpatrick and Derwin James are in play here.
- Chicago Bears – Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech – Edmunds might be the best edge rusher in this draft. He would be a great fit with the Bears’ defense. Fitzpatrick and James could also be in play here but Edmunds would be hard to pass up.
- San Francisco 49ers – Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama – There are still holes in the 49ers’ secondary even after Richard Sherman entered the picture. Fitzpatrick can give the 49ers depth and can play in the slot or at free safety. He has a ton of potential and his versatility adds to his value.
- Oakland Raiders – Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia – Judging by the Raiders’ offseason so far this pick is going to be hard to predict. It is easy to see Jon Gruden be a complete wild card here. However, it will be hard for Gruden to pass on the player that most resembles Derrick Brooks in this draft.
- Miami Dolphins – Vita Vea, DT, Washington – The Dolphins released Ndamukong Suh so there is a big hole in the middle of their line. Vea is one of the best athletes in this draft when you consider his size and could be one of the most dynamic defensive tackles in the NFL right off the bat.
- Buffalo Bills – Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama – The Bills really need a quarterback and some offensive line help. They also need help at WR and Ridley is the best in this group. He runs routes like a pro which will help any quarterback they decide to play. This might be a little early for Ridley but there is a chance he can become a star in this league and he fits a big need.
- Washington Redskins – Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State – The Redskins could go with a defensive tackle here. A quarterback could be in play as well if one tumbles. However, they have a glaring need at linebacker and Vander Esch is versatile and consistent.
- Green Bay Packers – Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State – Corner is a big need for the Packers and Ward is probably the best pure corner in this draft. He would immediately step in and have an impact on their defense.
- Arizona Cardinals – Derwin James, S, Florida State – It might be hard to see James falling this far but if he does he would be a great fit in the Cardinals’ secondary. It is too early to take Lamar Jackson here but it is a possibility.
- Baltimore Ravens – Rashaan Evans, ILB, Alabama – Evans fills a need for the Ravens who are probably hoping Ridley falls to them to fill their biggest need. Evans should step in right away and be a steady presence up the middle.
- Los Angeles Chargers – Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame – The biggest hole that last couple of seasons for the Chargers has been the offensive line. McGlinchey might not be a stud left tackle but he should develop into one of the better right tackles in the NFL and he is better than anyone on the roster right now.
- Seattle Seahawks – Ronnie Harrison, S, Alabama – Taking a corner like Jaire Alexander here is a real possibility. The Seahawks are in a bit of a rebuild and have holes in several places but their secondary is especially glaring. Harrison might not be the next Earl Thomas but he has a ton of potential and fits a need with the ability to start right away.
- Dallas Cowboys – Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M – Kirk might be the most dynamic receiver in this draft. With Dez Bryant gone, Dallas has a glaring need for a playmaker at the position and Kirk has the potential to be just that. He will need some work and polish but Kirk could be what the Cowboys need moving forward.
- Detroit Lions – Marcus Davenport, DE, UTSA – He might come from a small school but Davenport has big play ability and the Lions have a need for a playmaker at defensive end.
- Cincinnati Bengals – Will Hernandez, OG, UTEP – The Bengals need help on the interior of their line and Hernandez has shown he can be a very good run blocker, something the Bengals need desperately after averaging 3.6 YPC last year. Hernandez will push the pile.
- Buffalo Bills – Lamar Jackson, QB, Louisville – Never mind the chatter of him not being a QB at this level. Jackson is talented but is in need of polish. The Bills desperately need a QB and rumors have flown around that they are trying to trade up to land their guy. If there is no trade Jackson should be the pick. He has the potential to be a dynamic player at the next level.
- New England Patriots – Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville – There is a hole at corner and it is hard to imagine Bill Belichick drafting a QB here to sit behind Tom Brady. Alexander has the talent to step in and start from Day 1 and make an impact with his playmaking ability. He lacks ideal size but he has a nose for the ball.
- Carolina Panthers – D.J. Moore, WR, Maryland – Cam Newton needs a weapon on the outside and Moore is the best receiver on the board. He isn’t the most dynamic receiver but he does a lot of stuff really well and should emerge as a capable target for Newton and open up the offense a little.
- Tennessee Titans – Courtland Sutton, WR, SMU – Sutton could be the young, athletic playmaker the Titans need on the outside to finally see if Marcus Mariota can take this offense into another gear. They can really use an edge rusher but taking one now might be a reach and WR is a need for this team.
- Atlanta Falcons – Da’Ron Payne, DT, Alabama – Dontari Poe is gone and the Falcons have a need for a run stuffer up the middle. Payne falls to the Falcons here and it’s too good to pass up. He will be able to step in right away and have an immediate impact.
- New Orleans Saints – Hayden Hurst, TE, South Carolina – He might be old, he will be 25 after trying his hand at baseball, but he is extremely athletic and plays hard every down. He has the speed and size to become a force at the position but needs polish. Age isn’t a problem for the Saints who are looking to fill holes to win now and Hurst could have an immediate impact, especially with Drew Brees throwing him the ball.
- Pittsburgh Steelers – Ogbonnia Okoronkwo, DE, Oklahoma – This might be a reach given his size of 6’1” and 242 lbs. but Okoronkwo has a great motor and tends to play beyond his size. Something about him screams Steelers and something about this pick here screams that he will play big in their defense off the edge.
- Jacksonville Jaguars – Connor Williams, OT, Texas – Williams is one of the best offensive tackles in this draft. However, he might need a little seasoning at the pro level but should be able to start right away. The Jags would love for a WR to fall to them and that is a real possibility but Williams is the pick here.
- Minnesota Vikings – Isaiah Wynn, OG, Georgia – The Vikings could use a little help on the offensive front at both guard and tackle. Wynn has the ability to be an outstanding guard in the NFL and could even develop into an All Pro. That potential gives him the nod over a tackle like Kolton Miller who is a possibility here if Wynn is off the board.
- New England Patriots – Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA – Miller might not have an immediate impact but he has loads of potential and the Patriots have a need on the offensive line. The Patriots could also use this spot to add a RB or even a QB to groom as Brady’s replacement but Miller could be a star at left tackle in this League.
- Philadelphia Eagles – Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa – The Eagles don’t have many holes but with Patrick Robinson gone they could refortify their secondary with Jackson who could be a shut down corner for the Eagles in a couple of years.