The NFL Draft is only five days away and mock draft season is in full swing. To take part in the festivities, the second version of my mock draft has been created. Below will be a complete first round mock with trades on how I feel the first round will inevitably pan out. Let’s get to it.
Hello and welcome to the 2018 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns are now on the clock.
With the first pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns select… Sam Darnold, Quarterback, USC.
The Browns snag hopefully their QB of the future. Darnold has some flaws in his game, mainly ball security and quirky throwing motion, but has demonstrated during his career a baller mentality and flashed elite NFL potential.
With the second pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the New York Giants select… Saquon Barkley, Runningback, Penn State.
The first surprise of the draft comes not of a trade, but of an organic pick. The Giants have several roads they can go with the 2nd overall pick whether it be trading down, selecting a defensive player like Bradley Chubb or a quarterback. However, the Giants go with giving Eli Manning one last chance to win a Superbowl, by picking deemed by many, the best prospect in this year’s draft. Barkley is a boom or bust running back; however, when he booms, it is a show to watch. If the Giants can use their remainder of the draft to craft an offensive line fit for the NFL, Saquon should have a field day in the big apple.
With the third pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the New York Jets select… Baker Mayfield, Quarterback, Oklahoma.
The Jets draft one of the biggest personalities and stars in the draft in Baker Mayfield. The Heisman winning quarterback put up insane numbers in college, throwing 131 touchdowns to just 30 interceptions. Mayfield got better statistically each year in college and proved year in, and year out he was one of the best players in college football. The Jets get their QB of the future and a personality who should thrive in the big apple.
With the fourth pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Cleveland Browns select… Bradley Chubb, Defensive End, N.C State.
Although the Browns selected DE Myles Garrett first overall only a year ago, the Browns continue to fortify the defensive line by adding the best defensive player in the draft in Bradley Chubb. Chubb has posted 54.5 TFL and 25 sacks in his last three seasons at N.C State. The Browns now have an elite defensive line for years to come as all three starters would be on the first and second years of their rookie contracts. AFC North quarterbacks, look out.
There has been a trade. The Buffalo Bills are now on the clock. Buffalo sends 1(12) and 1(22) to Denver in return for 1(5).
With the fifth pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Buffalo Bills select… Josh Allen, Quarterback, Wyoming.
The Bills rock the draft by trading two first-round picks to the Denver Broncos to jump into the top five. The Bills then take the strongest armed quarterback in the draft in Josh Allen. After trading QB Tyrod Taylor to the Browns, the Bills are certainly in the market for a franchise signal-caller.
With the sixth pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Indianapolis Colts select… Quenton Nelson, Offensive Guard, Notre Dame.
The Colts have come out and said for the right price; they are willing to move back in the draft. However, a sweet enough deal doesn’t come along, and they stay put, which isn’t a bad thing at all. The Colts nab a mauling LG out of Notre Dame to fortify the OL for years to come and protect QB Andrew Luck in the future.
With the seventh pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers select… Derwin James, Safety, Florida State.
Derwin James doesn’t even leave the state with this pick. The Buccaneers are gifted a safety talent like James at seven here. James is a playmaking safety who will surely help the back end of the Bucs defense. Plus, jersey sales.
With the eighth pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Chicago Bears select… Minkah Fitzpatrick, Defensive Back, Alabama.
The Bears went to town during free agency to fix the offense and build it around QB Mitchell Trubisky. Now through the draft, they go defense. They get one of the most versatile defensive backs in the draft in Fitzpatrick and add help to the Bears secondary.
There has been a trade. The New England Patriots are now on the clock. New England sends 1(23) and 1(31) to San Fransisco in return for 1(9).
With the ninth pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots select… Josh Rosen, Quarterback, UCLA.
The Patriots do a blockbuster trade, trading into the top 10 for one of the most pro-ready (and likely heir to the throne) quarterbacks in the draft. The Patriots are preparing for life after Brady and do so in trading up to get one of the top QB’s in the draft. Consider the 49ers and the Patriots even on the Jimmy G trade.
With the tenth pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders select… Roquan Smith, Linebacker, Georgia.
Finally! Jon Gruden gets someone who isn’t from the NFL retirement home! Instead, he nabs the best linebacker in the draft to fix a bleeding Raiders linebacking corps. Roquan can play mean and will fit in nicely in the black and silver.
With the eleventh pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins select… Tremaine Edmunds, Linebacker, Virginia Tech.
The Dolphins have begun rebuild mode it seems, parting ways with Ndamukong Suh was the first step. Now they look to rebuild the defense with young pieces to help the cap and longevity of the unit. Edmunds gives you plenty of length and reach at LB and is a force to be reckoned with.
With the twelfth pick in the 2018 NFL Draft (via Buffalo), The Denver Broncos select… Harold Landry, Linebacker, Boston College.
Only a few seasons ago, the Denver Broncos defense was the scariest defense in the league. However, it faded quickly and after losing pieces like Aqib Talib, Malik Jackson and others, the defense needs some help again, and Harold Landry gives you a premiere edge-rushing talent. Getting to the quarterback is key on defense and paired with guys like Von Miller, Landry should wreak havoc for the Broncos.
With the thirteenth pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins select… Da’Ron Payne, Defensive Tackle, Alabama.
Another member of the Crimson Tide goes in the first round, the latest being a monster of a player in Da’Ron Payne. Payne will be playing with 2017 first round pick, Jonathan Allen. The Redskins need help stopping the run and Payne will be an immediate upgrade in that department.
With the fourteenth pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Green Bay Packers select… Joshua Jackson, Cornerback, Iowa.
The Packers secondary is an abysmal unit to look at. Joshua Jackson will walk onto the scene and likely become a starter by week one as he should. Although deemed a “one year wonder,” that one year was something to watch. Jackson had 27(!!!) passes defended and eight interceptions, which shot his draft stock through the roof. The Packers get an inexperienced, but very high ceiling cornerback to hopefully sure up the secondary.
With the fifteenth pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Arizona Cardinals select… Lamar Jackson, Quarterback, Louisville.
The Cardinals signed Sam Bradford this past season, but that doesn’t mean they don’t go quarterback in the first round. Bradford has an extensive injury history, which means Jackson could make his debut early. However, the plan is likely to have Bradford start and Jackson sit and refine his skills and adapt to the league a bit, but we’ll see how that ends up going.
With the sixteenth pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Baltimore Ravens select… D.J Moore, Wide Receiver, Maryland.
A local kid in Moore goes to a team that needs some weapons for QB Joe Flacco. Moore has been rising in draft boards as the process has gone on and is now the #1 receiver on many scouts boards. Moore has the speed to be able to push up the field but offers great route running and hands.
With the seventeenth pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Los Angeles Chargers select… Mike McGlinchey, Offensive Tackle, Notre Dame.
The Chargers have put an emphasis on fortifying the offensive line the last two drafts, drafting guys like Forrest Lamp and Dan Feeney. They continue building a young, punishing line by adding a top tackle talent in McGlinchey. Protecting Phillip Rivers and paving the way for Melvin Gordon appears to be the focus here.
With the eighteenth pick in the 2018 Draft, the Seattle Seahawks select… Connor Williams, Offensive Tackle, Texas.
The Seahawks offensive line was god awful last year and should be the #1 priority with this pick. Williams might not necessarily give you the length needed to play tackle. However, he possesses the traits to be able to kick inside and become a top end guard, something the Seahawks could most certainly use.
With the nineteenth pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys select… Calvin Ridley, Wide Receiver, Alabama.
After losing WR Dez Bryant, the Cowboys are in need of a new #1 receiver. Ridley gives the Cowboys a decent sized receiver with great speed and fantastic route running ability. His ability to take the top off a defense will be great for opening up the box for RB Ezekiel Elliot. Dak gets another weapon in his belt.
With the twentieth pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Detroit Lions select… Derrius Guice, Running Back, LSU.
The Lions hadn’t had a running back go for 100 yards in a game since Thanksgiving day in 2013 when Reggie Bush was still pounding the rock for the Lions. My bold prediction is if Guice is a Lion, he’ll break that almost five-year drought week one against the Jets.
With the twenty-first pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Cincinnati Bengals select… Kolton Miller, Offensive Tackle, UCLA.
The Bengals select the Josh Allen of Offensive Tackles at 21. Miller offers all the tools and upside to be a top tackle, but like Allen, Miller has yet to develop to that point. If Miller can be groomed and learn the NFL quickly, the Bengals might’ve gotten a steal here at 21.
With the twenty-second pick in the 2018 NFL draft (via Buffalo), the Denver Broncos select… Denzel Ward, Cornerback, Ohio State.
The Broncos addressed the Edge position with their first, first round pick in the draft and now they continue to fortify the defense by selecting one of the top corners in the draft in Denzel Ward. Ward is an extremely athletic corner, who can play the ball consistently and disrupt plays. Ward will pair with CB Chris Harris Jr. and form another great CB tandem for the Broncos.
With the twenty-third pick in the 2018 NFL Draft (via New England), the San Fransisco 49ers select… Will Hernandez, Offensive Guard, UTEP.
Will Hernandez is my second highest graded guard in the draft behind Quenton Nelson. Hernandez plays extremely mean and mauls whoever is in front of him. Hernandez excels in run blocking but isn’t too shabby at pass protection as well. Keeping franchise QB Jimmy Garoppolo and opening holes in the run game should do wonders for the 49ers offense, who is on the edge of becoming a premier unit in the league.
With the twenty-fourth pick in the 2018 NFL draft, the Carolina Panthers select… Anthony Miller, Wide Receiver, Memphis.
The Panthers need help on offense. Cam Newton and Devin Funchess were able to produce decently well last season, but the Panthers WR room is pretty weak at the moment and could use an upgrade. If the Panthers don’t go cornerback here, they should go with a wide receiver that has elite route running and can become a star on a Panthers offense looking to make a return to being a top NFL unit.
With the twenty-fifth pick in the 2018 NFL draft, the Tennessee Titans select… Marcus Davenport, Defensive End, UTSA.
Marcus Davenport is an extremely raw prospect but has flashed elite traits which have intrigued NFL clubs. He has a strong week in Mobile for the Senior Bowl, and the Titans take a shot on a guy who could become a force in the league, on a defense that desperately needs help rushing the passer.
With the twenty-sixth pick in the 2018 NFL draft, the Atlanta Falcons select… Vita Vea, Defensive Tackle, Washington.
The league should fine the Falcons with this pick for robbery. Vita Vea is joining a Falcons defense that already boasts names like Keanu Neal and Brian Poole is going to be scary. The Falcons already had a good defense but was plagued with a below average run defense. Vea should be able to patch that right up plus add value in rushing the passer.
With the twenty-seventh pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the New Orleans Saints select… Dallas Goedert, Tight End, SDSU.
The Saints have needed a tight end ever since they traded away TE Jimmy Graham to the Seattle Seahawks. Goedert gives tremendous upside and is often compared to Bengals tight end, Tyler Eifert. The only red flag is Goedert has been plagued with a hamstring injury since January and caused him to miss the Senior Bowl and the NFL combine.
With the twenty-eighth pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Pittsburgh Steelers select… Rashaan Evans, Linebacker, Alabama.
The Steelers have a hole in the linebacking corps with Ryan Shazier still out with his devastating injury and James Harrison leaving. Evans offers top tier pass rushing ability but also can drop into pass coverage and do decently well. Evans patches a hole in a battered Steelers linebacking corps.
With the twenty-ninth pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Jacksonville Jaguars select… Maurice Hurst, Defensive Tackle, Michigan.
Why do the Jaguars make this move after having one of the best defensive lines in the NFL last season? In 2019 the Jaguars are currently projected to be $40 million over the cap, and that comes mainly due to the contracts of DT Marcel Dareus and DT Malik Jackson, as well as DT/DE Calais Campbell. The Jaguars need to think about reloading the interior defensive line with top talent as well as save a lot on the books financially. Maurice Hurst was a top talent but has dropped some due to a heart condition that made him miss the NFL combine. The Jaguars are no stranger to snagging top talent later than they should’ve been taken.
With the thirtieth pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Minnesota Vikings select… Isiah Wynn, Offensive Guard, Georgia.
The Vikings have built a juggernaut on both sides of the ball. One of their very few weaknesses is in the trenches and target a former tackle in college and put him at the guard position. Wynn is powerful and offers an NFL ready frame. He drives with power and should help pave the way for RB Dalvin Cook and help an offensive line there to protect new QB, Kirk Cousins.
With the thirty-first pick in the 2018 NFL Draft (via New England), the San Fransisco 49ers select… Christian Kirk, Wide Receiver, Texas A&M
The 49ers now on their second, first round pick, continue to focus on helping QB Jimmy Garoppolo in getting him another weapon outside. WR Marquise Goodwin blew up last year and got paid for it. Now he gets a compliment WR on the other side in Kirk who excels in the shorter game with good route running and an ability to get open underneath. Between Kirk underneath and Goodwin over the top, Jimmy G should have no problem finding someone open.
With the thirty-second and final pick in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, the Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles select… Leighton Vander Esch, Linebacker, Boise State.
Leighton Vander Esch is a big linebacker who comes with great size and can play both inside and outside in the second level. His ability to change direction is near elite and will become an instant starter for the Eagles and give them another defensive weapon in hopes of returning to the Super Bowl.
Well, there you have it, the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. What did you think? Who went too high? Who went too low? Trades unfair? Feel free to comment below or reach out to me on Twitter @MistoChristopho. As always follow and listen to Locked On Jaguars @LockedOnJaguars and find us on most music sharing sites.
New York Jets Call Jaguars About Dante Fowler Jr.
The New York Jets appear to be interested in trading for a pass rusher, and have reportedly called the Jacksonville Jaguars about fourth year DE Dante Fowler Jr.’s availability, per Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News.
BREAKING: #Jets reach out to Jaguars to gauge their interest in trading pass rusher Dante Fowler, Jr., per sources.
— Manish Mehta (@MMehtaNYDN) August 21, 2018
Fowler Jr. offers potential as a full-time EDGE, as he has accumulated 12 sacks (14, including postseason) as a rotational pass rusher over the past two years. The Jaguars selected Fowler Jr. with the third
However, Fowler Jr. has a history of drama. He was most recently suspended for a week for fighting in practice, and will miss Week 1 due to a suspension for a misdemeanor battery charge from 2017.
We wrote last week that the Jets would be a team that’d make most sense if Fowler Jr. was on the trade block, which you can read here.
We will update this story as details emerge.
Jaguars Victorious Over Vikings Despite Penalties, Lack of Offense
The Jacksonville Jaguars took their talents to Minnesota this week, facing the Vikings in their second preseason game after a week of joint practices.
Before the game, several Jaguars starters were ruled out including TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins, CB Jalen Ramsey (suspension), FS Tashaun Gipson, LG Andrew Norwell, RT Jeremy Parnell, and DT Marcel Dareus. DE Taven Bryan, FS Cody Davis, DE Dante Fowler Jr. (suspension), LB Brooks Ellis, DE Dawuane Smoot, and DT Eli Ankou would also not play.
The game started off quickly as the Jags defense was able to get an instant three and out against Kirk Cousins’ Vikings. The defensive line has never looked better, and although Dareus was out, they still stood up strong against the Vikings offensive line creating penetration all game, sacks, and forced fumbles. At the end of it all Kirk Cousins ended his day going just 3 of 8 passing for 12 yards.
It is fair to say, however, both first team offenses struggled mightily during the game.
The Jaguars first two offensive drives went about as poor as they could have. Following a three and out, Blake Bortles threw his first interception of the preseason. He seemingly did not see Vikings’ safety Harrison Smith right in front of the receiver on the play. Nevertheless, the Jaguars offense was finally able to piece together a decent drive ending in a 1-yard touchdown by running back Leonard Fournette later on.
Blake Bortles and most of the Jaguars starting players would play the entire first half. Even still, besides the early touchdown by Fournette, the Jaguars could not get anything done. A lot of the Jaguars struggles were due to penalties. 10 penalties for 100 yards in the first half alone and a key holding call on a Dede Westbrook would-be 51-yard punt return was nullified. Blake and the Jaguars offense could not get much of anything going all day long and that would be the theme for the day, for both teams.
The play of the game came very late in the 4th quarter when wide receiver Rashad Greene took a punt 51-yards to the Vikings 4-yard line, setting up a game-winning touchdown by Brandon Wilds. After the Vikings got the ball back, the Jaguars backups needed a stop on defense to win the game. On the Vikings last drive of the game, the Jaguars defense got yet another stop, this time on 4th down to win the game.
Three plays of the game
- DE Yannick Ngakoue does his best Key and Peele impersonation after his sack. He should know better than to do 3-pumps, but this was pretty funny.
Yannick 😂😂 pic.twitter.com/iWFDX0PkMA
— Trevor Sikkema (@TampaBayTre) August 18, 2018
- After the Blake Bortles interception, Jaguars defensive tackle Malik Jackson was able to force a fumble on the Vikings running back Latavius Murray. The Jaguars defensive line came to play.
- Logan Cooke made one of the most beautiful punts I have seen a Jaguars punter make in years. From around the Jaguars 45-yard line, the rookie punter punted 56 yards to the Minnesota 5 and the Jaguars special teams unit only allowed a 7-yard return from there. The Jaguars finally have a “weapon” in their punter.
Player of the Game
The player of the day is by far Yannick Ngakoue. This man came into this season on a clear mission: To seek and destroy. Ngakoue started the game off strong with a sack, although nullified because of a celebration penalty afterward, the defensive end made his presence known from the very start. For much of the game, Ngakoue kept the pressure on and was consistently in the Vikings backfield. He was a part of jackson’s forced fumble after Bortles’ interception. If this game is any indication, Ngakoue could very well be an all-pro.
For most of the game, the Jaguars just couldn’t get anything going on offense.. The biggest issue with the Jaguars today was their inability to overcome penalties. The team accounted for a total of 13 penalties 140 yards.
The bright spot for the Jaguars was easily their defense for both the starters and the backups. They held Kirk Cousins to only 12 yards on 8 passes, and the Vikings backups barely made any plays of note. The Jaguars offense, particularly the starters, will need to have a much better game next week as they head into their regular season warm up against the Atlanta Falcons.
Jaguars vs Vikings: Game Preview and Information
Jacksonville Jaguars at Minnesota Vikings
Thursday, 8/17/18 @ 1pm EST, U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN
You can watch the game on CBS47/FOX30, NFL Network, as well as on the team’s live stream in select markets.
The Jaguars and Vikings joint practice sessions have come to a close, the two teams will meet on the field to end the second week of preseason. The Jaguars and Vikings are similar teams in many ways, as both possess fearsome defensive units and solid running attacks. With that being said, here’s a few things to watch for in Saturday’s game:
Blake Bortles. Blake Bortles. Blake Bortles.
Bortles’ play and development will be a reoccurring story-line each week, but Saturday will bring his biggest test of the preseason. After an impressive training camp and first preseason game against the Saints, Bortles had a couple of rough outings during joint practice sessions, going 4/13 during 11 on 11 drills on day one.
The Vikings defense, while tough, is a blessing for the Jaguars offense and Blake. The match-up gives Bortles the chance to test a historically good passing defense, without any regular season record implications. He has the opportunity to take chances, learn from his mistakes, and compete against several All-Pro defensive backs such as Harrison Smith and Xavier Rhodes.
Cam Robinson will be put to the test against feisty Vikings edge rushers, mainly Danielle Hunter, who has recorded 19.5 sacks over the past two seasons. Vikings All-Pro DE Everson Griffen will most likely be inactive for Saturday’s game due to an infected leg wound.
An update on Everson Griffen: Sources say he's not practicing because he cut his leg on a table several days ago and the cut got infected. @Andrew_Krammer adds there's a chance Griffen could play Saturday.
— Ben Goessling (@GoesslingStrib) August 15, 2018
Robinson’s play seems to be improving from 2017, which could, along with the addition of Andrew Norwell, elevate the Jaguars’ offensive line to being a top unit in the league.
The continuing battle for the nickel cornerback spot seems to be leaning in the favor of D.J. Hayden, after he intercepted Kirk Cousins in a joint practice session earlier in the week. With the absence of suspended CB Jalen Ramsey, Tyler Patmon should get the go-ahead at outside corner, giving Hayden plenty of snaps in the slot. He will be tasked with covering Adam Thielen, one of the better slot receivers in the league. A solid showing for Hayden would help cement his spot at nickel corner.
Sophomore RB Dalvin Cook may see his first action of 2018, pending on a decision by Vikings HC Mike Zimmer. The former Seminole had a promising start to his rookie year before going down with an ACL tear early in the 2017 season. Cook would be an interesting test for the Jaguars DL and LB corps, namely SAM LB Leon Jacobs, who shined in run defense against the Saints.
WR Rashad Greene’s job may be in jeopardy after muffing a punt against the Saints in week one. If Greene is still turnover-prone as a punt returner, he will have to find success as a receiver to make it past roster cuts. Look for Shane Wynn or Dede Westbrook to also see time as punt returners.
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