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2018 NFL Mock Draft by DARLancd - 3.12
Published at 3/12/2018 8:34:46 PM
Done as a small experiment to take a pre-free agency look at what could come. Used NFL.com prospect grades and team needs.
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With Tyrod Taylor now in the fold this pick allows Hue Jackson and John Dorsey to get the best player on the board. Barkley should step in and help a team that is going to be run and play-action heavy succeed from day one.
*Projected Trade* Buffalo is building ammo to move up, similar to the way the Eagles did two years ago. Josh Allen has the ideal build and arm strength to play in the cold and wind of Buffalo come December.
The Colts will be tickled to death to get the draft's top defender here. That said Indy trading back from this spot to get more draft picks would not be surprising as teams try to jump Cleveland, Denver, and the Jets for the next QB.
Rumor has it that Cleveland's top two QBs are Mayfield and Allen. With Allen now off the board Mayfield make sense here. Yes this team just traded for Tyrod Taylor, but he only has one year on his current deal and John Dorsey is the kind of GM that needs to go get "his guy". (Just ask Alex Smith...)
This is the first shocker as Denver needs a QB and all signs point to Cousins going elsewhere. Denver's top option, Allen, is already gone as is Elway's rumored man-crush in Mayfield. Rather than roll with the risks tied to Rosen's health Denver opts to address their leaky guard spot with the draft's top lineman.
The Jets are loaded with cash, but Cousins spurns them to go elsewhere (likely Minnesota). This leaves QB as a hole and the Jets can land one of the best in this class with Darnold slipping this far.
Tampa's top cover man in 2017 was Brent Grimes who is now a free agent. Sure Grimes played well at age 35 and may get brought back to Tampa on a short term deal, but Tampa needs to get younger at the position.
*Projected Trade* The third team to lose out on the Captain Kirk pursuit watches anxiously as the draft's last top QB slowly falls down the draft. Rather than run the risk of someone jumping in the Cardinals move up to grab their future gunslinger.
The 9ers scoring Richard Sherman answers the CB question, for the moment, allowing San Fran to address a different position. With Reuben Foster's outstanding legal situation John Lynch opts to hedge his bets with the draft's top linebacker prospect in Edmunds who can rush off the edge or drop back in coverage.
The Raiders are retooling their secondary with the recent release of Sean Smith and David Amerson. While Fitzpatrick is listed as a safety he can play any position on the back end and offers a lot of flexibility for a young secondary that needs some talent infusion.
The Dolphins have a need at WR, but this is too high to pull that trigger. Instead the Dolphins get a linebacker that can go sideline to sideline with those shift running backs and tight ends in the AFC East.
The Giants traded back with the vision of adding to the line and buy a few more years of the Eli Manning hype train. Adding the draft's top tackle goes a long way towards fixing the team's biggest issues on offense.
While the Redskins big need on the back end is likely corner its hard to pass on the Florida State defender with this pick. James offers a lot of versatility, including being able to come down into the slot or line up as a sub-package linebacker. This may come down to the Su'a Cravens situation as these are similar players.
Green Bay has wasted far too many years of Aaron Rodgers prime with terrible defenses. After the Packers sent one of their top three corners to Cleveland last week it only makes sense to upgrade that position with this pick.
The Bears traded back to add more picks after leveraging some of this year's collateral to go get their franchise QB last year. This time around they go out and get their QB some new tools in the passing game by way of Alabama's standout receiver.
The Ravens are one of the biggest wildcards in the draft. They need receivers, but this pick is too high for those left on the board so they opt to draft the best player available rather than forcing the pick. Williams should fill that hole left by Ricky Wagner's departure last year.